→ J.J. Abrams talks to Entertainment Weekly about Mark Hamill and the table read.
April Fools was not particularly fruitful for Star Wars fans this year, but there were a few highlights. The champion’s crown goes to Mark Hamill, who led fans on about an Episode VIII “plot point” in his quest for a “#HAMILLION followers.” Whatever, it was dad joke adorable. See the collected tweets.
Also on Twitter, Charles de Lauzirika faked up a shockingly on-brand cover for a big J.W. Rinzler The Making of the Star Wars Holiday Special, which we all almost wish was real.
Then there’s Tor.com, which played it almost straight with a nice Han Solo obituary.
I can’t say I’m particularly enthralled with it, but IGN got a lot of play for their fanboy-baiting trailer for Star Wars: Fury of Maul.
And yes, Club Hux was indeed a joke. (It started on Twitter, and was so well-received I took it to Tumblr and Facebook as well. Sorry about anyone who saw it on all three.) So yes, we will remain Club Jade, and the fic archive won’t be reopening for Kylux. Anyone who fell for it can expect a visit from Millicent.
Good Morning America has another sneak peek at ‘Secrets of The Force Awakens,’ the documentary from the upcoming Blu-ray.
StarWars.com has posted a somewhat more streamlined (and higher res) version of the footage as a teaser.
The Force Awakens Blu-ray will be out April 5 in the U.S.
There’s been a ton of stuff out of Dubrovnik for Episode VIII over the past few days, including further dressing for the street scene and how they covered up the windows – at least some of it is practical, not green screen. (The street was even closed for rehearsal the other day, though apparently none of the actors are present yet.) There’s also the possibility of interiors at Rector’s Palace and a vehicle was spotted.
Meanwhile, in Ireland, some details of what sort of scenes are to be filmed at Ceann Sibéal from The Movie Bit. Ridley and Mark Hamill are expected here, as the area is similar to Skellig Michael. Filming is expected for mid-May.
Variety has a story looking at how Ireland is getting a boost from film, but we all know the most important thing is a new behind the scenes picture from The Force Awakens featuring Mark Hamill on Skellig Micheal.
Bonus: I’m pretty sure this puts that whole ‘gravestone’ speculation to bed.
StarWars.com has the official announcement that Episode VIII has begun production at Pinewood this morning. It adds officially adds three new actors: Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern, and newcomer Kelly Marie Tran. (Entertainment Weekly takes a look at Tran’s previous work.)
Returning from The Force Awakens are Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, and Andy Serkis.
Video footage shows director Rian Johnson, Hamill and Ridley filming on Skellig Micheal in September, and a hint as to where VIII picks up…
…Or is it? Note that only one shot – Ridley holding out the saber – is actually a close duplicate to what we saw in The Force Awakens. While they may be keeping things less restrictive this time, let’s not put too much faith in what they’re willing to show us.
Meanwhile, as the day winds down…
→ J.J. Abrams talks to io9 about the script process (including Michael Arndt’s exit,) starting fresh with Lawrence Kasdan and even the Expanded Universe. (On that note, The Hollywood Reporter on the pre-Abrams story meetings.) At Nerdist, he says he wants to see Selma’s Ava DuVernay do a Star Wars film. She seems game! And Pablo Hidalgo’s fame continues to spread, as he’s the subject of the first question from the Associated Press.
→ Daisy Ridley and John Boyega are in the New York Times! With the AP, John shares the story of how (and why) he got Robert Downey Jr. as his mentor in fame. But he couldn’t resist getting a little saucy about Star Trek with Yahoo. (Well, about William Shatner, technically. Which is, I believe, legal under the Carrie Directive)
→ It was Oscar Isaac’s turn on Good Morning America today, where he talked about flying an X-wing.
→ A film still of Billie Lourd in the movie has been floating around for a while now (plus she was in one of the first TV spots) but People has an official character portrait, in which we can see she wears her hair in a toned-down version of Leia’s iconic buns. Still no character name, though.
→ J.J. Abrams, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Adam Driver were in Seoul today goofing around, while Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o and Kathleen Kennedy were in Mexico City. I can’t find any reports in English, but damn they looked cool.
→ Also: The Force Awakens was the #1 movie on Facebook for 2015; Yesterday’s spoilerific Rey action figure got DMCA’d; NASA scientist would pick Threepio over BB-8 or Artoo to take to space. I am outraged! I have to go lay down now.
J.J. Abrams, Kathleen Kennedy, and several of The Force Awakens’ stars were on hand today for #TwitterAwakens, a live Q&A via the @starwars Twitter. It was a crazy whirlwind, and yes, Harrison Ford dropped what may be a major spoiler – if you haven’t been paying attention. (It’s the spoiler – it’s not about Luke or anyone’s parentage, though he did spell Kylo as ‘Kilo,’ which is hilarious.)
Also, Mark Hamill trolled, and Daisy Ridley and Oscar Isaac sang a (brief) duet.
I’ve collected most of the tweets, but to see the actual questions you have to read it on Twitter. If you want to avoid Harrison’s spoiler, skim over everything from the Lupita picture (or Carrie’s “Good, I was jealous.”) until you see Harrison’s own mug (above center.)