Looking behind Rogue One: Han Solo, Boba Fett, and what’s after IX?

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As part of Entertainment Weekly’s latest Rogue One feature, Anthony Breznican talks to Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy and Kiri Hart about what’s ahead after Han Solo and Episode IX. Hart calls Rogue One “a really good template” for launching this new kind of Star Wars film.

But overall, there’s not really that much to say right now about the future. Because even Lucasfilm isn’t sure yet:

“There are [possible movies] that we have been talking a lot about,” Kennedy says. “But we are planning to sit down in January, since we will have had The Force Awakens released, now Rogue One, and we’ve finished shooting Episode VIII. We have enough information where we can step back a little bit and say, What are we doing? What do we feel is exciting? And what are some of the things we want to explore?”

It’s certainly an interesting question. I doubt we’ll be waiting 10 years for Episode X, but how long should they wait? Will the fanbase stand for an uninterrupted string of non-Episode films?

And which standalones? Perhaps the most interesting parts of this piece look back. First, it confirms the long-standing rumors that Josh Trank’s canceled standalone was about Boba Fett. (Ugh.) They even had a teaser reel ready to show us at Celebration Anaheim in spring 2015. A Fett film still might happen – Breznican calls it “backburnered” – but it’ll no doubt have to wait until the right director comes along. (And yes, the possibility of an Obi-Wan Kenobi film is mentioned. Again, Lucasfilm knows you want it.)

Secondly, Kennedy also mentions that the idea for the Han Solo standalone wasn’t one that George Lucas mentioned as a spinoff. We’ve previously heard otherwise, which makes me wonder if the original idea came from George in a different context, like the never-produced live-action series. (After all, Saw Gerrera made the jump from there to The Clone Wars to Rogue One – why not a major character like Han?)

In another article, this time at Variety, Kennedy talks about some of the Han film’s inspirations:

“This moves closer to a heist or Western type feel,” says Kennedy. “We’ve talked about [Frederic] Remington and those primary colors that are used in his paintings defining the look and feel of the film.”

She also talks about her desire to bring in more women to direct Star Wars films.

“We want to make sure that when we bring a female director in to do “Star Wars,” they’re set up for success,” says Kennedy. “They’re gigantic films, and you can’t come into them with essentially no experience.”

‘Future filmmakers’ panel to close out Celebration Europe

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Star Wars directors Rian Johnson, Chris Miller and Phil Lord will join Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy, Kiri Hart and Pablo Hidalgo for the Celebration Europe’s Future Filmmaker Discussion, followed by the con’s Closing Ceremony.

Johnson’s Episode VIII is expected to wrap very soon, while Miller and Lord’s Han Solo standalone will be next up. Is it here that we’ll get the official title for VIII? Will Alden Ehrenreich be confirmed as the young Han Solo? Both, maybe? StarWars.com promises “some surprises” and ending “the weekend on a high note.”

The news was first revealed on today’s new The Star Wars Show:

Celebration Anaheim: Gareth Edwards, Rogue One and the ‘Anthology’ films

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We got a decent look ahead at Rogue One today, as Lucasfilm gave us a description and a brief teaser trailer for Rogue One. We even got an official name for what we’ve been calling ‘spinoffs’ and ‘standalones:’ They’ll be ‘Anthology’ movies. The panel consisted of Pablo Hidaldo (doing his best Letterman act,) Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, Story Group lead Kiri Hart, director Gareth Edwards and ILM’s John Knoll, who originated the idea.

The trailer isn’t online yet and isn’t likely to (not officially, anyway) but here’s the description:

A band of resistance fighters unite for a daring mission to steal the Death Star plans in Star Wars Anthology film, Rogue One.

Felicity Jones’ character is a Rebel soldier, and it’s set in the ROTS/ANH gap, though closer to ANH.

The teaser, which was produced by ILM since they won’t start filming until the summer, featured a pan across a forest, a TIE fighter, and a glimpse at the Death Star through the atmosphere. The voiceover was Obi-Wan’s lines about the Jedi from A New Hope, and “the absence of the Jedi is omnipresent in the film,” Edwards said. “It comes down to a group of individuals who don’t have magical powers that have to somehow bring hope to the galaxy.”

This will be very much a war movie, and the crew has people who’ve worked on Zero Dark Thirty, Saving Private Ryan, and Blackhawk Down. Edwards said he doubts he’ll ever be able to work with so many high caliber people again; Folks will drop anything to come work on Star Wars.

Pablo asked Edwards about his ‘geek cred,’ and Edwards revealed that he spent his 30th birthday going to Tunisia – even drinking blue milk at the Hotel Sidi Driss, where the Lars kitchen was filmed. There were pictures. They were adorable,

Josh Trank, who’s helming the next Anthology film, was “under the weather,” so we didn’t get anything for that.

Meet Kiri Hart, one of the women now driving Star Wars

kiri-hartThe Rebels blitz continues, with the Wall Street Journal today featuring Lucasfilm’s Kiri Hart.

Tasked by head honcho Kathleen Kennedy to develop and oversees new Star Wars content, Hart and her ‘team of five’ (the Story Group, ahem) keep a tight rein on the galaxy… Although she does know there’s room for a lot of different things in the franchise:

“I think there are boundaries, but we don’t want to rigidly define them,” she said. “It’s obviously not slapstick comedy, but there’s room for many different stories and genres that still feel like ‘Star Wars.'”

One filmmaker says she is “as close to a Kevin Feige as there is at Lucas,” and in a longer interview she details some of Lucasfim’s recent choices.

On development:

We pretty quickly arrived at a content plan that stretches out for several years and we didn’t go looking for those ideas. Those existed internally. We were in a situation of looking for people to help us execute the ideas we had.

On setting aside the EU:

I’m crazily passionate about this idea of narratives travelling across different platforms. It just feels like a golden opportunity. This is a fictional universe that not only supports [narrative coherence] but invites it.

In addition, we wouldn’t be giving the right green space to our filmmakers if we mandated they stay within the stories that have been told [in books.]

On diversity:

I haven’t experienced “Star Wars” being for boys, because I loved it from seven years old. I was so powerfully influenced by Princess Leia as a kid. I remember being transfixed by her — she was so empowered and smart and funny.

There are a lot of different types of characters. “Star Wars” should be diverse because it’s a big galaxy.

This certainly sheds some light for us on how things are working internally these days!