It may have gotten lost in the flood of Adam Driver news yesterday, but Amy Ratcliffe wrote about the Rebels reveals, toys and being a woman in fandom for The Mary Sue.
Variety is reporting that Girls’ Adam Driver is “close to signing on” to play Episode VII’s villian. He’s their “top choice to play the main villain.” Driver’s name first came up for Episode VII from the Hollywood Reporter earlier this year, along with Michael Fassbender and Hugo Weaving. Today, they also have a source saying Driver is nearing a deal.
Driver has never been someone I’d expect to come up, which is a good thing. And, nothing against Fassbender and Weaving, but he’s a fairly fresh face who’s not attached to any other genre franchises. If this turns out to be the case – and as trades, both Variety and the Hollywood Reporter are as trustworthy as you can expect when it comes to rumors – I think this may be a good sign for the rest of the non-alumni casting.
It’s still a rumor, however, until Lucasfilm says so!
UPDATE #1: Lena Dunham, the executive producer/writer/star of Girls, who would almost certainly have to know if scheduling issues were a factor as Variety claims, tweeted…
We're VERY proud of Adam Driver re: Star Wars. He's about to rip a hole in da force. Is that a thing? I guess I should see those movies?
— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) February 26, 2014
Of course, she ‘retracted’ a few minutes later, but there you go:
I confirm nothing bc I know nothing bc I'm on a plane with my dad! I just like Adam more than almost anyone, and JJ Abrams a whole lot too.
— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) February 26, 2014
UPDATE #2: Entertainment Weekly also has “sources close to the actor” who say “he is indeed close to being confirmed” for a Star Wars role.
Rancho Obi-Wan released their 2014 schedule of fundraising events, including a seven-day charity auction on eBay called “Rancho Obi-Thon.” Starting on March 2, several lots of collectibles will go up for auction to raise funds for the not-for-profit Star Wars memorabilia museum, including a trove of artwork, rare posters (including an immunization poster donated by our own Paula), and autographed merchandise.
Also, there’s a chance to own loot that comes from the world’s largest Star Wars collection with their Dupe Deals auctions, where they will be selling off duplicate merchandise in the collection, also starting March 2 via eBay. Each duplicate will come with a certificate of authencity that it came from Rancho Obi-Wan.
Finally, Rancho Obi-Wan wants you to save the date: September 20, 2014 will be the Annual Fundraiser Gala. Like last year’s World Record Night, this will be a day long remembered!
All of the funds raised for Rancho Obi-Wan are used for such things as maintenance, security, professional services, providing tours for other charities to raise money, and community outreach. None are used for buying collectibles.
On Monday, Lucasfilm released a trailer for “The Lost Missions” of The Clone Wars, coming to Netflix on March 7, along with all the previous seasons. < These thirteen episodes of bonus content bring together a mix of story arcs that would have been part of a sixth season of the show. Combining with what has been revealed previously, I’ve selected two dozen frames from the trailer, and try to figure out what they might teasing, including a translation of the file in Aurabesh.
While we’ve focused on the female character introductions and (lack of) toys so far, Mia Moretti at Eleven-ThirtyEight takes on the issue of character races and representation – and the fandom reactions to it.
The importance of diversity is something that Bria and Nanci at Tosche Station wrote up not so long ago, while Brian took on some of the common arguments against it. While we’re a while from seeing if Rebels can deliver diversity beyond the main cast, it’s interesting to note that these discussions weren’t happening as openly even as far back as The Clone Wars debut.
As for the issue of female action figures, Amy Ratcliffe has some numbers.
Newsarama’s Lucas Siegel has the first interview with one of the Rebels crew: Vetern voice actress Vanessa Marshall, who plays the ship’s pilot, Hera. I think it’s safe to say she’s into it:
…When I got the call for Star Wars Rebels, that I booked Hera, I hyperventilated, fell to the ground, I think I was sobbing, and my agent then asked if she should call an ambulance. (laughs) Truly, of all the roles I’ve ever played, this is by far the most epic. I look forward to the long-term implications of interacting in the Star Wars universe. It’s really, really thrilling.
She also has a few things to say on our latest issue:
You know, it’s interesting – I would say from a marketing standpoint, I know how it serves them to target an audience, whether it’s male or female. I do know there are a ton more female sci-fi fans – there always have been, but perhaps now they have a greater visibility, so I predict that some of that stuff will change.
I will say that in a greater sense, I’m not so sure that there’s a stigma for the people who are buying those toys. In a real way, I think that George Lucas kind of destroyed the stigmas as far as gender is concerned, and raised the bar for future filmmakers. The fact there are female Jedi straightway levels the playing field. There are so many alien races that gender is sort of the least of the issues (laughs).
You look at Princess Leia, and Mon Mothma, Ahsoka Tano and Asajj Ventress – even to go to the games and EU [Expanded Universe – the Star Wars stories that are told in novels, comics, and video games], Jan Ors or even Mara Jade – the women in the Star Wars Universe just kick butt, in a way that transcends gender. And each in their own way.
I’ll say, even the female characters in Rebels each have their unique strengths – it’s another reason I’m so excited to be a part of this show. Just to get into Hera a bit again, she’s strong-willed, but she’s also nurturing. She really knows how to bring out the best in her team. She leads with humility. Her agility and physical skills are admirable; she can pull just the right punch at just the right moment and get the job done, and that’s how she delivers. Her very personal reasons for rebelling against the empire, I think, are things viewers are going to delight in uncovering each season.
Anyway, believe it or not, that’s only a tiny bit of the interview, so head over to Newsarama and read the whole thing.
MarketSaw is far from the top tier in rumormongering, but we haven’t heard much else lately… For the most part, this is all well-worn ground and things we’ve seen in multiple rumors before. Even what’s not direct regurgitation here is still pretty familiar:
Ultimately it’s about twins, and which will take a path towards darkness and which will follow in their fathers footsteps, or at least that is what it used to be, that may come later as I think changes are being undertaken to bring the original cast into the forefront of the story leading to ramifications that lead up to the next generation of Skywalkers.”
As for casting. they’re saying that in addition to all-but-certain returnees (Hamill, Fisher, Ford, Daniels) and not-that surprising alumni (Billy Dee Williams, Warwick “Davies,” erm Davis?) they’re repeating the Ian McDiarmid rumor from August. They’re also claiming that the much-rumored Benedict Cumberbatch and Gary Oldman were up for the same part… But they are “both involved.”
And it apparently took two Indiana Jones movies to get Ford on Episode VII now.
These are, again, pretty sketchy even for random rumors, so don’t take anything too much to heart.
Time to start planning your summer vacation around Star Wars! Walt Disney World has announced the 2014 schedule of Star Wars Weekends, including the expansion to a fifth weekend and the addition of nightly fireworks.
Held at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Star Wars Weekends (each Fri-Sun from mid-May to mid-June) will be hosted by fan favorite voice actor James Arnold Taylor. This year’s theme, “Join the Rebellion,” looks to loosely tie into the launch of Rebels.
Sadly, Dunc’s favorite part of Star Wars Weekends will not be returning – the Hyperspace Hoopla show has been retired. The Star Wars dance-off stage show has done its last boogie and will be replaced with new shows and the Symphony in the Stars fireworks show. No word yet on whether Disney World will be doing a May the 4th event.
Planning out the rest of your travel itinerary?
- Legoland California in Carlsbad is having its annual Star Wars Days on the last weekend of March. No word yet on whether Legoland Florida will have its own Star Wars Days, which it first started at the Winter Haven park last year for May the 4th.
- Star Wars Identities, the traveling museum exhibition using Star Wars saga to explore the notion of identity, has just started its tour stop at the CITÉ DU CINEMA in Paris, and will continue to June 30, 2014.
- Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology, the traveling museum exhibition linking real world archaeology to our favorite adventurer, is back in 2014, with its second US stop, at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, from March 8 to August 10, and then it will spend the winter in Canada at the Telus World of Science Edmonton from October 11 to March 8, 2015.
- Want some Star Trek instead? io9 shows off theme park concept art for a Star Trek themed land that will open at Paramount Park Murcia (Spain) at the end of 2015, with a Starfleet Academy / Federation headquarters design. Start saving up your latinum for the trip to southeast Spain!
We saw Sabine’s official reveal this morning, and although we’re still waiting for Hera’s, Hasbro confirmed with Newsarama’s Lucas Siegel that action figures of both Rebels ladies are coming, and will be unveiled at SDCC.
There’s been some blowback to the concerns over the lack of women showed in the first wave of Hasbro Rebels toys. But together with the ‘for boys’ nature of Disney XD and the apparent ‘ladies last’ spacing of the character reveals, it’s really felt like the female characters – and thus female fans – are there as an afterthought. (Is it really still not a given that women and girls like action?)
Yes, we know ‘this is how it is.’ Yes, we know that ‘it’s all here to sell toys.’ Yes, we know that’s ‘what advertisers want.’ And that’s exactly why we’re fighting so hard over this. This is our first major rollout since Disney took the wheel, and this is an uphill battle.