As someone who’s generally pretty well informed on what’s going on with the franchise, I go back and forth on the Star Wars Insider.
I let my subscription lapse more than a year ago and pick up the issues at Barnes & Noble… And often forget to read them anyway. (Yes, it’s available digitally, and I’m not really much of a collector, but I think I have them all since issue #24.)
The magazine is hobbled by the same general issues as most of print media – it’s always, always going to be a day (actually a month, or several months) late when it comes to breaking news. That’s just the nature of the beast, but I figure the Insider isn’t really meant for folks like me, the fans who read dozens of news sites daily. It’s for the casual fans. There’s a fine line to walk to attract the hardcores without alienating the core audience – the short stories being perhaps the latest (successful?) attempt.
On the official blog today, Howard Roffman talks about his history with George Lucas, Bob Iger and Kathleen Kennedy, as well as his emergence from semi-retirement. “The prospect of being involved with a new trilogy of Star Wars films made by a new generation of filmmakers was nothing short of exhilarating for me,” he writes.
The Star Wars issue of Entertainment Weekly isn’t out yet, but apparently Kotaku got an early peek at it – and they’re reporting that Kathleen Kennedy says that Lucasfilm wants to make “two or three films a year.”
Lucasfilm’s co-chairman and soon-to-be president, Kathleen Kennedy, has told employees she wants the company to produce two or three films a year (it’s averaged fewer than four per decade), and first up is Star Wars: Episode VII for 2015, which will pick up sometime after Darth Vader gave his life to overthrow (figuratively and literally) the Emperor and save Luke in 1983’s Episode VI— Return of the Jedi. Yes, the plan is to return to the characters in the first trilogy (1977–83). Whether the original actors will have significant roles or merely be on hand to pass the baton to a new generation of actors—something Lucasfilm tried with mixed success with Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Disney with TRON: Legacy—is unclear.
Two or three? Well, we can probably assume we’ll get three in 2014 – the 3-D re-releases of the original trilogy. But somehow, I doubt that’s what she’s talking about… Disney seems mostly focused on Star Wars, but that’s… A lot of Star Wars. (Market saturation much?) If they are all Star Wars, anyway.
… Or this could all be a misquote of the original thing we heard about one movie every 2 to 3 years. Personally, that’s what I’m hoping for.
StarWars.com has released the second video featuring Kathleen Kennedy and George Lucas talking about the new Star Wars films, Lucas’ role in them, and what they’re looking for in a director.
There’s some overlap with the first video in the beginning, Kennedy did mention “people she’s worked with in the past,” but didn’t bring up any names. “I think we have a unique opportunity to go after some incredibly talented people,” she says. “It’s not going to be people who don’t already have some affinity for Star Wars probably, it’s gonna be somebody who really appreciates what Star Wars meant to them and is excited to dive in and be a part of this. I think the thing that will be immediately apparent are the directors who walk into the room and say ‘I can’t wait to be a part of this.'”
“I think it’s going to be a pretty long list,” Kennedy concludes.
Today in Episode 7 reports, we have the Los Angeles Times’ Steven Zeitchik and John Horn saying that “several different screenwriters paid visits to Lucasfilm’s Northern California compound to pitch George Lucas and his co-chair Kathleen Kennedy their ideas for the new live-action installment.” Their source went on to say “they were well-known screenwriters with experience creating big-budget Hollywood films,” and the stories were not adapted from existing Star Wars books. (via)
Their source is anonymous, but this does dovetail neatly with something Kennedy said in the video released Tuesday: “We’re sitting down with a couple of writers and we’re starting to discuss ideas; We’re starting to talk about what those stories might be.” I feel comfortable putting this one in the ‘fairly plausible’ column.
Interviews with producer Frank Marshall seem to indicate that Indiana Jones 5 seemes unlikely to happen. Marshall is likely to be pretty close in the loop on such things, as one of the producers on all four films in the Indiana Jones series and husband to Kathleen Kennedy, fellow Indy producer and recently named to be George Lucas’ successor at Lucasfilm.