Natalie Portman: “No director wanted to work with me,” after The Phantom Menace. In a piece featuring remembrances of late director Mike Nichols, Portman talks about how he vouched for her.
FiveThirtyEight takes on Star Wars. This is all from one survey, probably not well populated by hardcore fans. Take it as you will, but it’s pretty interesting.
The Phantom Menace turning 15 is our second significant anniversary since Episode VII was announced (Return of the Jedi turned 30 last year,) so here are few TPM links: James’ reflections on The Phantom Menace 3D; J.W. Rinzler on George Lucas’ thoughts on midi-chlorians; Jake Lloyd on Episode I in 2009 and our own anniversary post that year; Amidala’s costumes in Vogue.
Head below the cut for a few more videos of note.
Star Wars Journeys: The Phantom Menace is available on Apple’s App Store now, with the rest of the saga to follow.
Keira Knightley talks a bit about playing Natalie Portman’s Phantom Menace decoy on The Graham Norton Show.
Speculation. I generally stay away from this sort of thing, but Mike Cooper’s piece on JJ Abrams, Jesse Plemons, and the best-case scenario is a good read based on some of the things we’ve heard. (I still hope that Plemons isn’t in the mix for a Skywalker, though.)
Gaming. Looks like 1313 – or at least the title – is officially dead, as the trademark has been abandoned.
Ancient history. Was Tupac Shakur supposed to read for Mace Windu role?
Fun stuff. Start your own silly title rumor with Empire’s Episode VII title generator, even if it does seem heavily weighed towards Gundarks and the Holiday Special.
Travel plans. Want to visit Mos Espa? Better hurry – a large sand dune is covering the set, reports CNN.
History. A financial memo unearthed by The Hollywood Reporter details George Lucas’ payday for THX 1138: $2,500. In installments. Proof that everyone starts somewhere!
Rumors. Bryan over at Big Shiny Robot has a non-Star Wars theory for the Kennedy/Lucas/Daniel Day Lewis lunch thing, and he says that the Ben Kingsley‘s name was out there a month ago, along with several other folks (including rumor all-star Benedict Cumberbatch) as what’s likely a bit of a red herring.
Meanwhile, Jedi News’ Jedi Master SQL has been poking around Pinewood again. You know the drill…
Shocking. In France, someone asked Harrison Ford about Episode VII again – the most revealing thing he said was “We’ll see.” You can see video of the interview at TéléStar.
Lest we forget… The Bearded Trio points out what we knew 18 months before Episode I. It’s not that much, and remember that 1997 was two years after the movie was actually announced. Patience, grasshopper.
In his latest blog entry, J.W. Rinzler looks back at George Lucas’ evolving thoughts on the Force and the ever-controversial midi-chlorians.
On a fictional grammar note, ‘midi-chlorian’ bothers me, though I have to assume if Rinzler is using it, it is indeed the kosher spelling. ‘Midichlorian’ just seems far more naturalistic.