The Force Awakens: Magnet droids, how do they work?

r2-bb8-swcaSo how does BB-8 work? One site has a guess – though warning, it slowed down every computer I looked at it on.

Making Star Wars has heard that John Williams will begin recording The Force Awakens score next month.

→ Our first glimpse of what is assumed to be Kylo Ren’s personal ship – or at the very least, a ship we may see briefly in the second trailer – comes from LEGO. Because of course it does.

→ Miltos Yerolemou talked a little bit about filming TFA with Asian Correspondent. “It’s not really a job where you ask any questions,” he said. (Also, I believe this may be as close as we get to an actual confirmation?)

→ Spoiler corner: Rey gets a gift and a very small cameo from the original trilogy.

→ Looking ahead: Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII notebooks. Keep reading the string for some of his process.

Gary Whitta is writing an episode of Rebels

@garywhitta: Writing an episode of @StarWars Rebels while my daughter sits in my office in Rebels pajamas, watching Rebels. #StarWarsRebels

Screenwriter Gary Whitta tweeted today that he’s writing an episode of Rebels. As Whitta was the first writer on Rogue One – and in fact came up with the title – this has naturally launched some speculation that the episode may tie into the film, which is due out December 2016. Both the show and the movie predate A New Hope and involve the Rebellion, so connections are by no means out of the question.

If Rebels continues to air the bulk of their seasons beginning in the fall, 2016 would mean season 3, which is as far as the show has been renewed for at the moment.

But that really is all speculation – all we really know is that he’s writing an episode, nothing more.

The real lesson of The Empire Strikes Back

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May is the month of Star Wars birthdays, of course, and Wednesday was the 35th anniversary of the release of The Empire Strikes Back. Entertainment Weekly’s Darren Franich took the opportunity to write the lesson nobody learned from Empire Strikes Back – that the small and personal is what makes the film succeed, not the dark and twisty.

The Force Awakens: Vanity Fair catches up with Pablo (and John Williams)

pablo-hidalgo-lucasfilmRed alert! Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo is in Vanity Fair! We knew him when, y’all. Okay, they also have John Williams talking about The Force Awakens score, but: Pablo! He gives another fab quote on the Legends situation:

…there are great stories told there, but in all honesty they were written in an era where there was no expectation that we were going to add new movies or cinematic content onto that. So they blazed new trails there without the benefit of that knowledge, and they told really cool and compelling stories, but it’s not necessarily the stories that we want to tell on-screen.

→ Someone else got a super-vague quote from Oscar Isaac about Star Wars, this time the improbably named Monkeys Fighting Robots. (Says the woman who runs a site that sounds like it probably hosts porn.)

→ Do you want a (possible) synopsis of The Force Awakens based on all the Making Star Wars rumors? Do you? Because MSW has that for you. Click or not, it’s all you.

Kathleen Kennedy on what really makes Star Wars

Kathleen KennedyThere’s some great stuff from Lucasfilm head honcho Kathleen Kennedy at Vanity Fair today.

George made it personal. He just made a movie that meant something to him. And I think that’s probably the biggest challenge for anybody stepping into this is that they can’t spend a lot of time thinking about what other people are going to think of the movie. They have to come at it from the point of view of, What does this mean to me and what does it have to do with me? Frankly, I don’t think great movies ever get made unless there’s some aspect of that going on between the creator and the story that’s being told. It can only become emotional [for an audience] if it’s operating on some kind of personal passion.

She also the emotional resonance of Star Wars, the old school experience, and how she and Steven Spielberg ended up hiring J.J. Abrams and Matt Reeves (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) to fix up those old Super 8 films.

Wired’s oral history of Industrial Light & Magic

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Vanity Fair isn’t the only magazine borrowing some Star Wars mojo this month. Wired today has ‘the definitive oral history of ILM,’ with George Lucas, Kathleen Kennedy, Steven Spielberg, Dennis Muren and more. (Including J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson.)

The Force Awakens: Costumes, Pip Andersen and bōjutsu

tfa-teaser2-firstorderToday, Vanity Fair has an interview with The Force Awakens costume designer Michael Kaplan, which actually feels surprising revealing for this point in the process. Namely, the stormtrooper uniforms are sturdier and Empire and Rebels First Order and Resistance are more color-coded. On that note, a new photo of Oscar Isaac in his base jumpsuit has emerged.

Pip Andersen talked a little bit about his role.

A few more tidbits from the Japanese interviews: Kathleen Kennedy said Daisy Ridley was trained in the bōjutsu fighting style, which means she’ll actually be fighting with the staff we’ve seen the trailers.

→ Hasbro has announced a Star Wars panel for SDCC. Maybe they’ll finally show some stuff for The Force Awakens?

→ Rumor corner, take 1: There’s something floating around a third trailer for TFA may be on Pixar’s Inside Out, and that it’s already been shown at a “Disney blogging conference.” However, another attendee has denied it.

→ Rumor corner, take 2: A Youtube video that supposedly shows an effects scene being filmed has popped up.