Some folks at Lucasfilm are raising funds for charity, and here’s your chance to help by bidding on some original art. The items include posters signed by George Lucas and Dave Filoni, plus art from Amy Beth Christensen and other Lucasfilm Animation folks. Proceeds will go to the Breast Cancer Emergency Fund and SF Aids Emergency Fund.
Remember the fairy musical that we heard Lucasfilm was working on way back before the Disney sale? It’s called ‘Strange Magic’ and it’ll finally see the light of day on January 23, 2015. Lucasfilm calls it “a madcap fairy tale musical inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and it’ll feature popular songs “from the past six decades.”
The film’s story is by George Lucas, and it’s directed by Gary Rydstrom. Voices include Alan Cumming, Evan Rachel Wood, Kristin Chenoweth and Maya Rudolph. No sign of Brenda Chapman, though…
The film is being released by Touchstone, a division of Disney.
While we are eagerly awaiting news of how the bonus content for The Clone Wars will take shape, the show picked up nominations for the 41st Annie Awards, given out for the best in animation. Announced by ASIFA-Hollywood, nominations for The Clone Wars included two individual achievement categories: Keith Kellogg for Character Animation in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production and Jason W.A. Tucker for Editorial in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production. The nominations were released today, and the award winners will be announced in February.
Our frequent interviewee Michael Price, writer of the LEGO Star Wars specials earned a nomination for Writing in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production for his work on The Simpsons. Juried awards have already been announced, including the Winsor McCay Awards to Steven Spielberg and Phil Tippett.
ILM also continued its streak of Annie award nominations, with four nominations, three of them in a single category of Animated Effects in a Live Action Production (two different teams for Star Trek Into Darkness and one for Pacific Rim). Another Pacific Rim ILM team got a nomination for Character Animation in a Live Action Production.
Earlier this week we saw the announcement of a new animated series, Star Wars Rebels. With Dave Filoni on board, joined by Greg Weisman (Gargoyles, Young Justice) and spin-off screenwriter Simon Kinberg and a new look based on the art of Ralph McQuarrie? Exciting times.
Here are my thoughts on why it’s a good thing:
Well, here’s your new animated series: Star Wars: Rebels, set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope just as heavily speculated. It’s helmed by Dave Filoni, Greg Weisman and Simon Kinberg and will be coming in Fall 2014.
The action-filled series is set between the events of Episode III and IV — an era spanning almost two decades never-before explored on-screen. Star Wars Rebels takes place in a time where the Empire is securing its grip on the galaxy and hunting down the last of the Jedi Knights as a fledgling rebellion against the Empire is taking shape. Details about the show are a closely guarded secret at this point.
The show will debut with an hour-long special on the Disney Channel before moving to Disney XD for the duration.
Fans will get a first look at the show at Celebration Europe.
TheForce.Net heard back from Lucasfilm on the post-Return of the Jedi animated series supposedly leaked by a laid-off LFL employee on the IMDB boards. “This is something we’ve never seen before,” Lucasfilm spokeswoman Tracy Cannobbio told TFN’s Eric Geller in an email.
The treatment, which sketched out an all-new post-movie galaxy, was picked up by several fansites and blogs over the weekend.
UPDATE: In a shocking (not) turn of events, Lucasfilm has denied this. But hey, we don’t mind fan fiction, so the original entry and pics remain below:
A TFN reader spotted this treatment for Star Wars: Reclamation today on the IMDB message boards. The poster claims to be an ex-Lucasfilm employee, but obviously nothing about this is in any way verifiable.
The Reclamation treatment lays out a Star Wars story set about 15 years after Return of the Jedi. It features mostly all-new characters, but the description of Leia Organa is, shall we say, very interesting:
A post-Emperor universe where Han and Leia aren’t even together? Where at least Leia’s ancestry is kept secret? Where there are Jedi who survived the purges but no mention of Luke Skywalker? Although at least one of the other character descriptions is rather curious…
As always, I am deeply skeptical about this whole thing, but it’s certainly food for thought – even if it does turn out to be nothing more than a rejected pitch, an attempt to troll gullible EU fans or just someone’s cleverly-presented fanfic.
Like I’ve said before, it’s time for Expanded Universe fans to get used to the idea that something like this – by which I mean a post-ROTJ that’s completely different from the one in the books and comics, not necessarily this specific setup – might actually be what happens in the sequels. Chances are that, yes, this instance is a big old fake. But the possibility that the sequels will give us a new post-ROTJ universe is very real.
Check out the full treatment below the cut.
Among the story arcs that will not emerge in this post-cancellation era is one that dealt with Boba Fett and the other bounty hunters who have menaced the heroes for several seasons. This story arc, which my source tells me was almost done, would have shown us the fates of Cad Bane and Aurra Sing.
It’s also being heavily implied that Lucasfilm Animation layoffs – or notifications thereof – went down on Friday.
Eric also had two takes on Lucasfilm Animation’s reaction to the fan reaction. (Which has since been… removed?) One was “shocked” by “tepid fan reaction;” The other “recognized the outpouring” of support.
It’s worth noting that these two accounts can be reconciled. I’m sure that everyone at Lucasfilm Animation, both current and former staffers, appreciates what support they’ve seen. The question is how much more support those staffers were expecting to see.
If this does pan out, it’s not particularly surprising: Our own Stooge predicted the end of Lucasfilm Animation last week. Alas, as sad as it is, it only makes sense that Disney would eliminate a department that’s redundant to their own extensive resources. Our pal Bryan at Big Shiny Robot has a level-headed examination of the yet-unconfirmed moves:
But renewed calls to panic in this case aren’t justified. This seems wholly consistent with the plan we were upset about a week ago. What’s being done to The Clone Wars is unfair, both to the fans and the artists who create the show, and it will never hurt to voice your support, but being upset at a cat for eating a mouse (or in this case a giant mouse eating a television show) is to deny the nature of the thing.
That said, the letter-writing campaign that’s being pushed is far from useless: If you enjoyed The Clone Wars then, yes, make your voice heard. It may be too late to turn back the clock for Clone Wars, but it might make a difference for the remaining episodes, or show that there’s enough interest to sustain another show.
But it’s also time to sit down, take a deep breath, and make sure you’re presenting your case in a calm and rational manner. Panic only breeds more panic, and that’s not the kind of statement that’s going to make a good impression on the higher-ups at Disney – or anyone else.
UPDATE: The good news is, Bryan got word from Lucasfilm that the ‘bonus content’ that was promised – and deeply doubted – “will absolutely be made available to fans.”
Monday’s announcement that Lucasfilm was taking its animation division in a new direction, focusing on exploring a new series while bringing a graceful end for Star Wars: The Clone Wars and a hard stop for Detours, brought out a lot of mixed feelings from fans. Many, like Stooge and me, were sad and angry to see The Clone Wars get shut down at its peak. I’ve rounded up reactions from the voice cast of the show, as well as from bloggers and entertainment reporters.