Episode IX begins filming August 1, confirms Williams and Fisher

J.J. Abrams’ Episode IX will begin filming on August 1 at London’s Pinewood Studios, StarWars.com has announced, confirming that Billy Dee Williams, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher (via unused The Force Awakens footage) will be returning.

Interestingly, the release calls IX “the final installment of the Skywalker saga.”

As expected, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Anthony Daniels, Joonas Suotamo, and Billie Lourd are also returning. They’re being joined by new (to Star Wars) faces, Naomi Ackie and Richard E. Grant.

A late addition to the release was Keri Russell, the only new-to-Star-Wars actor rumored for this round.

More details on the Fisher footage:

The role of Leia Organa will once again be played by Carrie Fisher, using previously unreleased footage shot for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. “We desperately loved Carrie Fisher,” says Abrams. “Finding a truly satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker saga without her eluded us. We were never going to recast, or use a CG character. With the support and blessing from her daughter, Billie, we have found a way to honor Carrie’s legacy and role as Leia in Episode IX by using unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII.”

Composer John Williams and Director of Photography Dan Mindel are also returning.

Hey kids! You want a Last Jedi blooper reel?

Here’s one! It has the infamous 27 slaps, a surprise from (we assume) BB-8 and hugs.

And another! Even more Oscar Isaac shenanigans, an overenthusiastic wind machine and John Boyega’s big bio-hexacrypt problem.

Man, I love these things.

The spoilery concept art for The Last Jedi has landed

io9 has the concept art for some of The Last Jedi’s biggest surprises – the stuff that was held back from the art book due to spoilers. There are only a handful of pieces, but they’re some good ones.

StarWars.com has an interview with Joonas Suotamo on taking over Chewbacca full time for The Last Jedi and Solo. He also appeared on the latest Star Wars Show. They also talk to droid builder Lee Towersey.

Kelly Marie Tran stops by Oh My Disney (with BB-8!) and Fangirling to talk shooting The Last Jedi, ships, and working with John Boyega and Benicio del Toro.

Continue reading “The spoilery concept art for The Last Jedi has landed”

Forces of Destiny is back on March 19

Disney has announced that we can expect the next set of Forces of Destiny shorts on Monday, March 19. All eight new episodes will debut at 10:00 a.m. PT (1:00 p.m. ET) on Disney’s Youtube and Disney.com. The special will air on the Disney Channel the following Monday (March 25) at 9:50 p.m. ET/PT.

Voices include Mark Hamill (Luke), Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn), Lupita Nyong’o (Maz), Kelly Marie Tran (Rose), Tiya Sircar (Sabine), Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka), Vanessa Marshall (Hera), Catherine Taber (Padmé) and Matt Lanter (Anakin).

Titles, descriptions, and images in a gallery under the cut. Continue reading “Forces of Destiny is back on March 19”

Carrie, crystal foxes and more in latest The Last Jedi behind the scenes featurettes

A few new behind the scenes clips have emerged since we last checked in. The first, on Kylo’s choice to not kill Leia, features a new priceless quote from Carrie Fisher. The second is on the crystal foxes (err, vulptices), finally giving us a long-awaited look at the actual dog-wearing-straw-costume used to help develop them. And from yesterday, how a Ralph McQuarrie painting from Empire inspired the final showdown and a bit on the red of Crait.

Continue reading “Carrie, crystal foxes and more in latest The Last Jedi behind the scenes featurettes”

The Last Jedi behind-the-scenes with Andy Serkis, Carrie Fisher, Oscar Isaac and Daisy Ridley

With The Last Jedi home release imminent, several behind the scenes clips and featurettes have been released. There’s an interview with Andy Serkis on Snoke at Entertainment Weekly; Oscar Isaac, Carrie Fisher and The Slap at People; Daisy Ridley and Rian Johnson on Rey at E!.

Continue reading “The Last Jedi behind-the-scenes with Andy Serkis, Carrie Fisher, Oscar Isaac and Daisy Ridley”

Rian Johnson on The Last Jedi’s throne room fight, prequel parallels, deleted scenes

IMAX and Collider held a live Q&A with The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson last night. They livestreamed it, and while I’ve been hoping for better video, you can still watch it at Facebook. Johnson answered questions about the throne room scene and prequel parallels, among other things.

Collider themselves have finally weighed in with Johnson on the deleted scenes, lack of a funeral for Han Solo, Rey’s parents, and figuring out Poe’s journey. And finally, here’s the full Q&A in a proper video:

The Last Jedi: More pictures, how the Rey/Kylo scenes were filmed, Story Group and more

Disney has posted a few new The Last Jedi things on their award site, including several new stills, an extended score, production notes and the BAFTA Q&A with Rian Johnson and the cast.

Rian Johnson talks to People about how they filmed the “Force connection” scenes between Rey and Kylo Ren. Remember those paparazzi shots of Adam Driver flying into Ireland with Daisy Ridley and Mark Hamill, and all those rumors of a big fight scene with the Knights of Ren? Jokes on us. Johnson has another wide-ranging interview over at the Daily Beast. He also explains Snoke’s big scene and the Kylo shirtless scene.

The NYT takes a look at the women behind Lucasfilm’s story group, mainly Kiri Hart. It’s not just Pablo!

You’ll never guess what from the Legends EU made it into the movie. Sort of. Hey, at least it’s not something Courtship of Princess Leia this time.

On that note, there’s a ton of meta happening on Tumblr. I’m reblogging a lot of it and hope to do a roundup of the highlights here, but for the moment, an analysis of “the sacred Jedi texts.” (There’s plenty more coming – the fandom is prolific and I have a ton of backlog in the drafts folder.)

Tech corner: Neal Scanlan on how they built the film’s creatures, and again | Visual effects supervisor Ben Morris on creating Crait and the Earth equivilants | How Yoda was rebuilt | The movie’s sound design | The creation and science of that silent hyperspace scene.