Does Episode VII already have an editor?

Captain AmericaIn a press release yesterday announcing that Captain America: The Winter Soldier has begun filming, Marvel credits Mary Jo Markey with also being the editor for Episode VII. Surprise!

Markey has edited much of J.J. Abrams’ work – including both his Star Treks – so it’s by no means a stretch that she’ll work on Episode VII as well. But it’s certainly not something we expect to learn from a Marvel press release!

UPDATE: Jedi News points out that IMDB also lists another frequent Abrams editor, Maryann Brandon, but IMDB is generally not to be trusted at this point. (And this raises a question… Did Marvel get their info about Markey and EpVII from IMDB? Either way, until Lucasfilm or Bad Robot weigh in, this is questionable.)

Roundup: What is Peter Jackson doing with Episode VIII?

Tricksy Hobbit!April Fools! Here’s one we missed: First Showing spotted what appears to be an Episode VIII script or treatment that appears very briefly in Peter Jackson’s latest Hobbit behind-the-scenes video, which was released on Monday. Of course, there are also appear to be scripts that say The Silmarillion, which I don’t believe anyone even has the film rights for, so take it as you will. I’m sure you can guess how I’m leaning. Well played, hobbitses.

Box office. The Motley Fool predicts that Episode VII will make a lot of money. Not just a a lot of money (because duh) but that it will go where only James Cameron has gone before: To make $2 billion worldwide. Well, if anyone can, it would be Star Wars… Right?

People. J.J. Abrams talks Star Wars and Star Trek with SFX, while Harrison Ford’s lips are sealed on Entertainment Tonight Oh the humanity. Or maybe he’s just tortured his publicist enough this week.

Back… To the future! Movies.com gathers some Lucas’ quotes on earlier plans for extending the saga.

Disney putting Star Wars in the vault

The Disney Vault

The cancellation of The Clone Wars was not an isolated incident, it seems.

We’re hearing word that Disney is ceasing the release of all new Star Wars products and merchandise until such time as Episode VII is released.

Star Wars and the fandom has proved to be a bit more of a handful than Disney was expecting,” our source says. “They knew you guys would be difficult but the reality was a complete shock to the company. Their own fandom is, for the most part, far more accepting and docile. Disney isn’t really used to their decisions being greeted with such outright hatred and protest…”

“They’re going to shut everything down and clear the market for a while while they reaccess the situation. The sequel trilogy is still happening, but it may be delayed as late as 2019, depending on various factors.”

Anything that’s not already deep into the production pipeline – aka actually sitting in a warehouse somewhere – will simply not be coming out. Disney expects the last products to drop early this summer, after which nothing new will be produced until we approach the release of Episode VII… Whenever that ends up being.

Disney has long used their ‘vault’ in the service of making animated releases scarce. This is, to our knowledge, the first time an entire franchise has been placed on hold.

We are, however, hearing that no further layoffs are taking place at Lucasfilm itself, although curiously a series of giant thorn bushes had grown up around such company outposts as the Letterman Digital Arts Center and Skywalker Ranch…

Artist's Rendition

Making peace with multiple Star Wars continuties

Mount Sorrow: Because not all EU is sacredI admit I’m sick of hearing from certain segments of fandom that the sequel trilogy absolutely must conform to the books – I’ve already written two posts about how that’s a completely unrealistic expectation that folks need to get over, and fast. I’ll probably write yet another post on this at some point, but for now, I beg you to go read Star Wars, Marvel, and the Multiverse by Brian over at Tosche Station.

One way or another, the sequel trilogy means that change is coming to the Expanded Universe. Denying it isn’t going to make it go away, and now is the time to make peace with all the possible directions this could go. Please. I promise it won’t hurt half as much as you think it will.

Rumor: Obi-Wan and Maul to face-off in spinoff?

SPINOFF RUMORS: Take seriously at your own risk.Cosmic Book News is at it again! Today they’ve set on another spin-off concept, one featuring Obi-Wan during his Tatooine exile with old buddy Darth Maul and a possible appearance by a young Luke Skywalker. (via)

A similar story was published in 2005 as the lead story of Star Wars: Visionaries. But as story concepts go, we’ve heard worse, and Ewan McGregor hasn’t been shy about his willingness to return. But, as always, it’s only a rumor.

Harrison Ford on J.J. Abrams: “A wonderful talent. Extraordinary guy.”

Harrison Ford isn’t talking Episode VII yet – but he has plenty of praise for director J.J. Abrams, who he worked with in 1991’s Regarding Henry

“I think he’s fantastic,” Ford said in a recent interview. “I did his first movie, ‘Regarding Henry,’ with Mike Nichols. A wonderful talent. Extraordinary guy.”

He also played coy on playing Han Solo again, sort of: “Um, I don’t even want to discuss that. It’s great. Ain’t it great?” He was a little more cagey in his MTV interview:

“It might be nice, depending on the circumstances, to revisit any one of those characters. What interests me now is the opportunity to work at all and to work in ambitious projects. I can’t think that way,” Ford said. “What I’m looking for is the next opportunity, the next ambitious opportunity. It doesn’t matter if it’s one of those. If it’s one of those, great. If it’s not, that’s fine too.”

And on past criticisms of George Lucas:

“I might have said things in the past that were characterizations of how I felt at the time,” he said. “That was then. This is now. It doesn’t matter.”

J.J Abrams talks Episode VII, plus a great fan poster

Fan art: Episode VII poster by Adam Schickling Empire talked to director J.J. Abrams about Episode VII and Star Trek. No real revelations, but some intersting comments for fans of the franchises.

“I don’t know because we’re just getting started. So it’s a great question that I hope I’ll have a good answer to when I know what the answer is. There are infinitely more questions than answers right now, but to me, they’re not that dissimilar. Though I came at these both from very different places, where they both meet is a place of ‘Ooh, that’s really exciting.’ And even though I was never a Star Trek fan, I felt like there was a version of it that would make me excited, that I would think ‘that’s cool, that feels right, I actually would want to see that.

“How we were going to get there, what the choices were going to be, who was going to be in it – all of those things I knew would have to be figured out, but it was all based on a foundation of this indescribable, guttural passion for something that could be. It’s a similar feeling that I have with Star Wars. I feel like I can identify a hunger for what I would want to see again and that is an incredibly exciting place to begin a project. The movies, the worlds could not be more different but that feeling that there’s something amazing here is the thing that they share.”

He also talks about how Kathleen Kennedy was able to change his mind, and about talking to Steven Spielberg.

And above is a fantastic fan poster by artist Adam Schickling!

Rumor: Episode VII to feature “disciple” of Palpatine

SEQUEL TRILOGY RUMORS: Take seriously at your own risk.Cosmic Book News has a source claiming that Episode VII will feature, in addition to Skywalker and Solo offspring, a Palpatine flunky:

A disciple of Emperor Palpatine aims to rebuild the Sith Armies of the Old Republic and destroy the Jedi where the Skywalker children will be thrust into battle and face their inner demons of their Skywalker lineage.

They also claim the movie will take place 30 years after the original trilogy, no shock to anyone who can do a bit of math.

It’s plausible, of course, but also fairly reminiscent of a lot of the early Expanded Universe plots, which were lousy with Imperial flunkies and random darksiders. (via)