We’ve been here before. I recognize that tree.
This is not a movie.
At some point during the production of a Star Wars
film, the rumor mill starts churning about possible titles. With The Force Awakens
, the big one was ‘A New Dawn,’
which later ended up being a book title. Pablo Hidalgo later revealed that ‘Shadow of the Empire’
was a working title, but it certainly never leaked as such. And while a fan did guess The Force Awakens on a message board in 2012
, that title never gained much steam elsewhere.
Star Wars title rumors are almost always guesses – and the only one the internet ever got right was the most predictable one: “Revenge of the Sith is the only Internet-era title that got out before its announce,” Hidalgo tweeted this week. “It’s the only one with a final title during production.” Which means even Lucasfilm likely doesn’t have a final title in place for VIII yet. It remains Space Bear.
But if you’re still curious, io9 has a great takedown of this new title rumor, and how clumsy the ‘leak’ really is. (They clearly put some effort in, but it’s extremely clumsy.)
Will we get a title at Celebration Europe? Well, maybe. But we only got The Force Awakens when principal photography wrapped on VII, so if anyone wants to guesstimate that, be my guest.
So don’t be surprised when latest terribly undynamic title can officially take a minor place in fandom history alongside fake titles like Rise of the Empire, The Creeping Fear and Balance of the Force.
Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo went on a tweetstorm this afternoon on the old Expanded Universe, reboots, and the original history of Mon Calamari. It’s not going to change anyone’s mind, but it’s a good read.
Bonus: John Jackson Miller, one of the few authors to write on both the old and new EU, on storytelling in a shared universe.
And here we have what may be our first serious* Episode VIII spoiler rumor: Making Star Wars on how the Knights of Ren come into the action. Again, these are likely serious spoilers, so if you’re not so inclined, don’t click.
* Reddit never counts.
Oscar Isaac is on the cover of Rolling Stone, and while the article is a straight-up profile, we do learn a few things about The Force Awakens:
All of the funny lines – including one about Poe being unable to hear Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren through his helmet, and the “who talks first” exchange – were added in reshoots, and Isaac improvised some of them. He’s always pushing to complicate and deepen Poe, who started as little more than a charming archetype. “We’re making shit up as we go,” he says.
As for Episode VII:
“In the new film, there’s a lot more to do,” Isaac says. “What happens now is the heroes get tested. All three of them” – Poe, Daisy Ridley’s Rey and John Boyega’s Finn – “get tested immensely.” And how’s BB-8 doing? “BB-8’s doing all right. BB-8 gets tested too! Everybody gets tested! It’s the dark second chapter, but not really dark.”
P.S. The dog’s name is Moby.
Filming at Malin Head has already wrapped, complete with a (obligatory?) Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley pub sightings. Making Star Wars has some pictures, including a very blurry look at Rey in costume.
Meanwhile, Carrie Fisher is Carrie Fishering about in Cannes, where a new documentary about her and mother Debbie Reynolds is debuted.
Today’s big VIII buzz is that director Rian Johnson and several cast members have arrived at at Belfast International Airport in Northern Ireland, where they’re expected to film at Malin Head. (A familiar object is being built there.)
Mark Hamill went all out for the photographers, but his costars were less gregarious. Director Johnson and Daisy Ridley are no surprise, but the fourth person joining them may be, so click at your own risk.
→ Though Malin Head is the only known filming location in Northern Ireland, there are several in Ireland now – SWNN has a map.
→ John Boyega picked up a Chopard Trophy at the Cannes Film Festival yesterday, (alongside Bel Powley, who was rumored for a VIII role at one point) and even found time for a couple of interviews. With Variety he discussed Finn and Rey and described VIII as “a different take, darker, bigger” than The Force Awakens. At Vulture, he has nothing but praise for new costar Kelly Marie Tran.
→ Meanwhile, Oscar Isaac and his Poe Dameron haircut are doing publicity for X-Men: Apocalypse. To Collider he says “Poe has a lot of love to give,” while he tells Entertainment Tonight that VII characters will get “tested intensely.”
Christian Simpson on the search for the original voice of Nien Nunb, Kipsang Rotich, on StarWars.com in two parts. Spoiler: They find him, and he reprises the character’s voice in The Force Awakens.
→ Objections have been raised to the new font in The Force Awakens‘ opening crawl. (As a font geek, I remain undisturbed.)
→ Word on the street is that the making of book isn’t cancelled, and that we’ll hear more… Eventually.
→ ILM is putting on a concept art challenge.
Making Star Wars says today that Tom Hardy (Mad Max: Fury Road, The Dark Knight Rises, Inception, etc.) will cameo in Episode VIII. Jason’s report is surprisingly detailed, so take it as you will.
Bloodline has been out for nearly a week now, and we’ve had interviews with author Claudia Gray from Entertainment Weekly and StarWars.com (by our own James!) Questions answered include how she incorporated that one Leia meme, what part of ANH got retconed, and how you pronounce ‘Casterfo.’
On Twitter today, Pablo Hidalgo treated us to a bit of background on the origins of the book… Including where Episode VIII director Rian Johnson contributed:
And finally, here’s a selection of Bloodline reviews: Big Shiny Robot, Cinelinx, Comicbook.com, Fangirl Blog, Far Far Away Radio, GeekDad, Tor.com, Tosche Station. (Plus mine.)
Was the blaster a sign? Because it certainly looks like Alden Ehrenreich has the role of young Han Solo all wrapped up. Page Six was first to report last night that the alleged front-runner for the role has it in the bag, followed by The Wrap, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety and Entertainment Weekly.
We can only hope an official announcement is imminent, but these things can take a while.
The still-untitled Han Solo film, from The Lego Movie directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller with a script by Lawrence and Jon Kasdan, will be the second standalone Star Wars film. It’s due out in 2018 and expected to begin shooting at Pinewood Studios in London after Episode VIII wraps up.