I’ve been a Star Wars fan since I was barely 13, and became an Expanded Universe fan only days later. My entire experience of falling in love with Star Wars was prompted and is because of the Expanded Universe; I ‘first’ saw the movies on VHS over Christmas break in 1991. And we wouldn’t have even had those copies in the house if not for the release of Heir to the Empire in the spring of that year.
I owe my entire fandom to Heir to the Empire and the Thrawn trilogy. The Expanded Universe, which was pretty much all there was back in those days, formed the nucleus of my fandom. They hooked me, and they hooked me well enough that I sit here, 22 years later, running a fairly popular blog devoted to the franchise, with those same worn copies of Heir, Dark Force Rising and The Last Command not four feet away.
I love the Expanded Universe. It’s a weird kind of love that you get with this sort of fandom; I kept with it through some of the absolute worst fiction I have ever read, and many books that could I barely bring myself to call mediocre and, yes, even those rare gems that make it all worth it.
But I’m also okay with letting it go.
As we all guessed after that tweet two weeks ago, The Hollywood Reporter is now saying that Peter Mayhew will return as Chewbacca in Episode VII.
Mayhew last donned the Chewbacca suit in Revenge of the Sith, and many speculated he’d be returning after he recovered from knee surgery last year.
The Hollywood Reporter makes this a much stronger report, but we only consider information confirmed if it’s openly from Lucasfilm/Disney or appears on StarWars.com.
Peter Mayhew has had to cancel a convention appearance “due to filming.” Comicpalooza runs Memorial Day weekend – May 23-26. That’s right about the time a certain movie is expected to be shooting in London…
Report. The Albuquerque Journal’s ReelNM blog says the the reports of Episode VII filming in Mexico are false. “New Mexico was never on the list for the film,” their source says. The New Mexico rumor started by a local film blog, with Latino Review narrowing the location down to Las Cruces.
Gaming. IGN unleashed a bunch of stuff on 1313, the video game that may or may not have been canceled in the post-Disney shakeup. A source tells TFN to lean heavily on the ‘may not.’
Alumni. “I intend to pursue the role of Chewbacca for Episode VII,” Peter Mayhew says in relation to the Wookiee casting.
Hints This isn’t the first we’ve heard about October being the month that Lucasfilm will finally start announcing things, but, y’know, pencil it in. Meanwhile, Bob Iger is hinting that Disney could create specialized content for “new platforms.” Sound familiar?
The second Celebration Europe – and our first Celebration of the post-Disney era – has officially begun with a press conference reuniting much of the Return of the Jedi cast. Luckily, Dan Brooks of StarWars.com live-blogged it.
Don’t forget, our own @jamesjawa is in Germany, too!
Remember Chewie, the Black List script that follows Peter Mayhew behind the scenes of Star Wars and beyond? Fanboys director Kyle Newman is developing it, says The Hollywood Reporter.
Newman has “secured Mayhew’s life rights in order to further develop the script.” Very tall British actors, you’re on notice.
Saturday was the first day of the inaugural Course of the Force lightsaber relay, helping to raise funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation while celebrating geekery on its way from Santa Monica to San Diego and Comic-Con. Ready for your “Awww..” moment? Skip to 11:45 in the video above to see the last runner of the day – the king of fast, in his adorable Artoo costume!
The kick-off conival had its moments of fun, with Peter Mayhew and members of the 501st Legion and Rebel Legion helping to provide atmosphere at the Santa Monica Pier. Leading off the relay was host Chris Hardwick and a group of Make-A-Wish kids. Check out more costumed fun in the Southern California gray, thanks to Lesley Farquhar / Equinox Photography for sharing her photos.
Sunday will continue the relay from Redondo Beach to Huntington Beach, where there will be another Course of the Force conival at the HB pier (4pm to 9pm), including free performances by The Spazmatics at 6pm, and Dan Finnerty & The Dan Band at 8pm. The relay journey continues on Tuesday and Wednesday, going from Oceanside to Pacific Beach to downtown San Diego and Comic-Con!
Chris Hardwick’s ‘epic journey’ to bring the Course of the Force lightsaber from San Francisco to the Santa Monica Pier. Watch out for Ewoks.
With the Course of the Force lightsaber torch relay starting on Saturday in Santa Monica, there’s going to be a Endor-class celebration to kick it off at the Santa Monica Pier from 10 am to 2 pm. Enjoy live music by the Spazmatics, appearances and autographs by Star Wars characters including actor Peter Mayhew who played Chewbacca. At 1:00 p.m. Chris Hardwick and a crew of kids from Make-A-Wish will run the first segment of the inaugural Course of the Force from the Santa Monica Pier. Get the full Course of the Force schedule for both the relays and conivals at the Course of the Force site.
Here’s the rundown on more Course of the Force news:
- Leading the way for Course of the Force will be a mobile re-creation of Jabba’s Sail Barge, where
crimelord Jabba the Hutt relay hosts Chris Hardwick, Ashley Eckstein, and Alison Haislip will be following the action. Being custom built at twenty-five feet long, it’s still being assembled, but I’m sure that it will be fully operational once the hostly trio arrives!
- Course of the Force has brought on some new sponsors, including frozen treat maker Otter Pops and SHOEBACCA.com. The online shoe store will be bringing Peter Mayhew to sign autographs at the Saturday and Sunday “conival” events in Santa Monica and Huntington Beach. They will also be having a Galactic Giveaway sweepstakes from July 7 to August 31 on www.shoebacca.com.
- Capping off the relay will be a concert by The Dan Band at the San Diego’s Balboa Theatre on Wednesday, July 11 live at 12:30 p.m. Tickets are available online at sandiegotheatres.org. “Truthfully, our first choice to conclude Course of the Force was Sy Snootles and the Max Rebo Band, but they’re not currently touring in this system,” Course of the Force host Chris Hardwick admitted, “But I sincerely can’t think of a better SECOND choice than The Dan Band! Everything is automatically more awesome when you add The Dan Band. True Story.”
- For those who want to help Make-a-Wish, but aren’t in Southern California, Course of the Force will have some ebay auctions for some unique prizes and swag.
- Celebrities who will be participating in Course of the Force include: Drew Carey, Zachary Levi, Paul Scheer, Vanessa Lengies, Neil Everett, Kal Penn, Team Unicorn (Rileah, Clare, Milynn and Michele), Adrianne Curry, and more.
Look for more special Course of the Force updates next week!
We had a handful of guest announcements yesterday headlined by the man behind (inside?) Chewbacca, Peter Mayhew. Also: Performer/puppeteers Tim Rose and Paul Springer, makeup artist Nick Maley and actor Trevor Butterfield.
The Black List is an annual vote that picks the best unproduced scripts circulating around Hollywood. Among the top vote-getters this year is Evan Susser and Van Robichaux’s ‘Chewie,’ which Movieline describes as “A satirical behind the scenes look at the making of Star Wars through the eyes of Peter Mayhew.”
Previous Black List selections that went on to be filmed include Diablo Cody’s Juno and Aaron Sorkin’s The Social Network.