There was plenty to behold for the 30th anniversary screening of Return of the Jedi at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood as part of Entertainment Weekly’s first CapeTown Film Festival. Held on Star Wars Day, May the Fourth, the set of four screenings of the no-longer-final installment of the Star Wars saga brought out fans and celebs alike. With Jedi being my favorite Star Wars film, I was stoked to see it again on the big screen – twice! While we’ve already covered the news of Mark Hamill’s appearance after the evening screenings, there’s plenty more to share, including a visit from The Clone Wars cast and more! (Also check out my full photo album on Flickr!)
Mark Hamill was the surprise guest at Entertainment Weekly’s CapeTown Film Festival after the Return of the Jedi screening tonight. And naturally there’s already video of him talking about the droids and doing a Harrison Ford impression.
Here are reports from IGN’s Eric Goldman and AICN’s Eric Vespe. He’s talking about him and Carrie being in Episode VII like it’s a done deal. (He hasn’t talked to Ford recently.) From Goldman’s article:
After the crowd cheered this statement, Hamill added, “That’s what the challenge is, is to try and meet expectations of what you guys want. I think there’s nothing wrong with CGI, but I think you have to have a balance, because the camera perceives the width and the depth and the weight – even if it’s a miniature model, the camera just realizes that. So when you have too much CGI and the clouds are CGI and the trees are CGI and the buildings are CGI, you’re getting to a point where the figure in the shot is like a hybrid of an animated film and live-action. And I want it to have an organic look so that we don’t get into Roger Rabbit territory.” He then added, with a laugh, “But I don’t imagine that the priority is what I want!”
He talked about how he believes to focus of the new films will be the next generation, and that his role will be more Obi-wanesque: “Heavy on the Jedi mind tricks, less on the lightsaber duels.”
Vespe stuck around for the second Q&A, where Hamill got asked about the Expanded Universe:
Hamill has never read any of the books or other extended universe stuff. “People say to me, “Dude, you’re married to Mara Jade! She’s smokin’ hot!” I go, “That would have been nice if they had thought of that when I was actually involved! You know, because it’s the ultimate good news/bad news joke. The good news is there’s an attractive woman in the universe, only one, the bad news is she’s your sister.”
Read both recaps – Hamill says we probably know more than he does about VII at this point, but he does still manage to talk quite a bit. Enjoy it while you can… And hope we get an official announcement soon!
UPDATE: Here’s a full video of one of the talks, thanks to Jason Ward!
Bob Iger was talking Lucasfilm on CNBC again, and he told them that there’s still no decision on bringing back the original actors. Or rather, that despite George Lucas’ comments last week, “We haven’t made an official announcement yet.” Indeed.
He does say that there have been “discussions” with the actors, but they’re waiting on Arndt’s script to make a final decision.
In a great story on the Lucasfilm acqusition by Disney in Bloomberg Businessweek, George Lucas more or less admits that Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher are returning for the new movies:
Asked whether members of the original Star Wars cast will appear in Episode VII and if he called them before the deal closed to keep them informed, Lucas says, “We had already signed Mark and Carrie and Harrison—or we were pretty much in final stages of negotiation. So I called them to say, ‘Look, this is what’s going on.’ ” He pauses. “Maybe I’m not supposed to say that. I think they want to announce that with some big whoop-de-do, but we were negotiating with them.” Then he adds: “I won’t say whether the negotiations were successful or not.”
That may be the big news out of this, but the article itself is a must-read on the process, with extensive input from Lucas and Bob Iger.
Hey, some actual sorta kinda casting news! Entertainment Tonight spoke to Mark Hamill who revealed that he was approached — by George Lucas himself — about appearing in Episode VII. And he indicates that he wasn’t the only one who may be coming back:
“He did say that if we didn’t want to do it, they wouldn’t cast another actor in our parts – they would write us out… we’re in the stage where they want us to go in and meet with Michael Arndt, who is the writer, and Kathleen Kennedy, who is going to run Lucasfilm. Both have had meetings set that were postponed — on their end, not mine. They’re more busy than I am.”
Still, he stresses that no contracts have been signed — which perhaps blows a hole in the Harrison Ford rumor — and that he hopes everyone is on board (Billy Dee Williams and Anthony Daniels included), “rather than just one.” He also weighs in on what he’d like to see in the sequels, as well as the standalone movies. Worth checking out the whole interview.
Mark Hamill’s new movie, Sushi Girl, had its premiere last night, so of course Hamill’s being asked about Episode VII.
“I just know that nothing’s been decided, whether we’re in or out,” he said to Coming Soon. But don’t expect any a Carrie-style snarking: “Until I know more about what they have in mind, I think it’s better to let Lucasfilm make the announcements,” he told E!
Meanwhile, SFX asked him where he’d see an older Luke Skywalker:
I remember when we were making the first trilogy I thought… When I realized they were gonna make the princess my sister, I said, “You know where this is headed? It’s headed for Obi-Wan territory, where I’m in a desolate hovel, as an elderly recluse.” But I’ve heard other ideas, like you say – somebody who’s training Jedi.
“I never, ever dreamed that we would do any more movies. And so I really sort of let it go,” he said.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Mark Hamill reveals that he and Carrie Fisher were told about the plans for Star Wars VII, VIII, and IX last summer. (At Celebration, perhaps?)
So when he said, “We decided we’re going to do Episodes VII, VIII, and IX,” I was just gobsmacked. “What? Are you nuts?!” [Laughs] I can see both sides of it. Because in a way, there was a beginning, a middle, and an end and we all lived happily ever after and that’s the way it should be — and it’s great that people have fond memories, if they do have fond memories. But on the other hand, there’s this ravenous desire on the part of the true believers to have more and more and more material.
Well, you can’t say they haven’t had practice keeping secrets!
Carrie’s reaction to the news breaking has so far been contained to, um, her dog. Harrison Ford is, I expect, looking into trips to Antarctica.
Today was fairly busy, starting off with the Del Rey panel. It was also the first official reveal of Detours, which I chose not to attend in order to write up Del Rey. This one goes a little beyond just the stuff I was able to attend, if only because of the sheer overlapping amount of big things going on. (Yes: Still exhausting!)
Oh, and apparently The Clone Wars is moving to a Saturday morning debut? Alrighty then. Bryan Young went to the S5 premiere tonight and has posted a review and recap.
Some quick thoughts on Del Rey, Detours, cupcakes, the Essential Reader’s Companion, Mark Hamill and more below the cut.