The Force Awakens: Magnet droids, how do they work?

r2-bb8-swcaSo how does BB-8 work? One site has a guess – though warning, it slowed down every computer I looked at it on.

Making Star Wars has heard that John Williams will begin recording The Force Awakens score next month.

→ Our first glimpse of what is assumed to be Kylo Ren’s personal ship – or at the very least, a ship we may see briefly in the second trailer – comes from LEGO. Because of course it does.

→ Miltos Yerolemou talked a little bit about filming TFA with Asian Correspondent. “It’s not really a job where you ask any questions,” he said. (Also, I believe this may be as close as we get to an actual confirmation?)

→ Spoiler corner: Rey gets a gift and a very small cameo from the original trilogy.

→ Looking ahead: Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII notebooks. Keep reading the string for some of his process.

Rumor: Who’s the frontrunner to direct Episode IX?

starwars-jjabramsAccording to (deep breath) Latino Review, J.J. Abrams may return to direct the final film of the new trilogy. Making Star Wars has a source saying the same thing.

There are also rumblings out and about that Francis Lawrence, who directed the last three Hunger Games movies, is in the running as well.

We’ve previously heard that Episode VIII director Rian Johnson would also script and perhaps direct the third installment as well, but this far out it’s hard to say in any case.

First Star Wars spinoff film is Rogue One; Rian Johnson (and MAY 2017) confirmed for Episode VIII

ro-headshotsStarWars.com confirms that the first standlone film will be called Rogue One.

Starring Felicity Jones, directed by Gareth Edwards and written by Chris Weitz, the story is based on an idea from John Knoll, who’s one of the executive producers. The film will shoot in London this summer and is due out December 16, 2016.

They’ve also (finally!) confirmed that Rian Johnson is writing and directing Episode VIII, which is set for May 26, 2017. A RETURN TO MAY!

Much of the personnel here we’ve already heard about, but the title Rogue One is our first detail that really points to what kind of film this will be. A female X-wing pilot? Bring it on.

Another Star Wars film will be shooting at Pinewood

Day 1 at PinewoodIt’s certainly not a surprise, but Pinewood CEO Ivan Dunleavy (via Variety) confirms that another Star Wars film will shoot at Pinewood. The Hollywood Reporter says this will be the mysterious spin-off from Gareth Edwards, which already has a December 2016 release date.

The BBC has video of Artoo’s appearance at the announcement. Reporter Lizo Mzimba also notes that per Pinewood’s website, The Force Awakened used their Exterior Tank.

We already know that Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII will film in London as well, and that there’s a ten-year deal in place with Pinewood so it won’t be the last.

Rian Johnson and Terry Gilliam talk Episode VIII

rian-johnson-looperAll-but-confirmed Episode VIII writer/director Rian Johnson chatting with fellow filmmaker Terry Gilliam on a podcast recently. Here’s the most interesting bit that’s made it out:

Kathleen and her whole creative team have been so insistent on all the filmmakers they’ve been hiring for these new movies: ‘We want you to take it and turn it into something that you really care about.’ And we’ll see how the process plays out, but so far, that’s a big part of the reason I’m in it. Because that just seems like their attitude towards it. It’s really exciting actually.

Listen to whole thing at The Talkhouse. (UPDATE: Here’s part 2.)

Gilliam requested they bring Frank Oz back, so if you hear a lot of Yoda chatter in the next couple days, this is no doubt why. (via)

Video: Gareth Edwards accepts ALS ice bucket challenge


We’ve already seen J.J. Abrams and Mary Franklin (first at the Yoda fountain!) do the challenge, but what’s really interesting here is that it’s pretty much the first official Lucasfilm recognition (Star Wars uploaded the video) that Rian Johnson is on board. No one really doubts it at this point: Johnson’s rep has confirmed, he’s clearly had permission to be out there talking like it’s a done deal, but the lack of an official announcement has been puzzling.

Celebrities are doing the ice bucket challenge to raise money to fight Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.