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.
The LEGOLAND Discovery Center Chicago opened up a new Star Wars miniland this weekend, and it is all The Phantom Menace. Located in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg, the LEGOLAND Discovery Center is exhibiting three interactive dioramas showing off scenes from the first prequel film:
- The Naboo hangar, with launching starfighter and duel scene
- The Mos Espa podrace arena, with controllable Anakin and Sebulba podracers
- The Naboo plains battlefield, where Gungans and battle droids face off
The new set of Star Wars dioramas, a first for a U.S. LEGOLAND Discovery Center, is made with over 500,000 LEGO bricks and 2,000 mini figures. Additionally, the Chicago skyline diorama will also celebrate the opening by including Star Wars minifigures and other references in its display. The new miniland opened to the public this past weekend with a series of grand opening weekend festivities. One blogger reports their ‘preview night’ experience with lots of photos.
Unlike the miniland dioramas at LEGOLAND California (which previously announced some minor updates for this summer) which assemble characters in a blocky 4-6 inch height scale, these dioramas are at the scale of the regular LEGO mini-figures, so you’ll see your favorite LEGO figures from The Phantom Menace in the exhibit (including a hugely populated podrace arena grandstand).
This is the first Star Wars miniland at any of the indoor LEGOLAND Discovery Centers in North America. The Manchester UK Discovery Center was the first to receive the Episode I miniland, though only from February through June, and there are some hints that the Chicago installation may be temporary as well.