This week in The Force Awakens: Finding the voice of Nien Nunb

NienNunbChristian 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.

The original trilogy is coming back to theaters (some theaters) in August

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The original trilogy will be back on the big screen in a limited number of locations this August. The Alamo Drafthouse chain is sponsoring back-to-back showings of A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi throughout the U.S. (And before you can ask: They will be the Special Editions.) The initial list of dates includes 16 venues, but it’s suppose to come to “more than 20 cities.”

Tickets will go on sale at ReturnOfTheTrilogy.com on May 4.

Rumor: Disney shopping Star Wars films to basic cable again

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Variety reports that Disney began pitching the free TV rights – technically basic cable – on the Star Wars films last week, for all three trilogies. The asking price on is claimed to be “high” – even for the “vintage” titles. Movie rights are worth less and less to networks these days, but Star Wars seems to be an exception.

Spike TV held the Star Wars rights through 2014, paying $65-$70 million for six years and six films. The Indiana Jones films went for about $25M each in 2008.

Cable outlets who have met or are meeting with Disney include Turner, FX Networks, Viacom, NBCUniversal (which owns SyFy, which aired A New Hope when it first launched as the Sci-Fi Channel and USA Network, who had the rights to the original trilogy in the 90s,) A+E Networks and AMC Networks.

Variety cites speculation that the pitches to outside networks may be Disney’s way of seeing “what the market will bear” – aka covering their ass – before settling the rights on one of their own networks. (I’ve been expecting the films will indeed show up on Freeform.)

The Force Awakens will debut on Starz next year as the last film under the channel’s deal with Disney. TFA likely won’t show up on basic cable until 2018, while Episode VIII and IX will go to Netflix first under Disney’s current deal with the streaming service.

Report: John Landis says original trilogy theatrical cuts are coming (and guess who told him?)

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Per Empire magazine, producer/director John Landis said at a Q&A tonight that Disney will be (eventually) re-releasing theatrical cuts of the original trilogy. It’s an evergreen rumor that pops up regularly, but this variation has a little bit of oomph behind it – Landis apparently heard about it from George Lucas.

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Now, whether it actually pans out this time will be another matter…