Hamill, Fisher told of sequel trilogy during the summer

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Mark Hamill reveals that he and Carrie Fisher were told about the plans for Star Wars VII, VIII, and IX last summer. (At Celebration, perhaps?)

So when he said, “We decided we’re going to do Episodes VII, VIII, and IX,” I was just gobsmacked. “What? Are you nuts?!” [Laughs] I can see both sides of it. Because in a way, there was a beginning, a middle, and an end and we all lived happily ever after and that’s the way it should be — and it’s great that people have fond memories, if they do have fond memories. But on the other hand, there’s this ravenous desire on the part of the true believers to have more and more and more material.

Well, you can’t say they haven’t had practice keeping secrets!

Carrie’s reaction to the news breaking has so far been contained to, um, her dog. Harrison Ford is, I expect, looking into trips to Antarctica.

Unlearn what you have learned: Will the Expanded Universe survive new Star Wars movies? Should it?

I’m not going to be the first person to say this, and I certainly won’t be the last: Don’t expect the sequel trilogy to follow the existing Expanded Universe. We know that George Lucas has done story treatments for these films that he’s handing over to Kathleen Kennedy and Disney’s LFL, and Lucas’s take on the EU has been, for most of its existence, that they’re an alternate universe. He has been a distant and uncaring god, at least as far as post-Return of the Jedi is concerned. He has used things from the EU occasionally, but I wouldn’t expect straight adaptations of any of the existing books or comics – at least not as actual episodes.

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Roundup: No, it wasn’t a wish your heart made, Disney really did buy Lucasfilm yesterday

Now that the dust is settled a little from yesterday’s bombshell, we can all take a deep breath and… Continue to freak out about how there are going to be more Star Wars movies. Um.

A good place to start would be Slashfilm’s roundup of yesterday’s conference call with Russ Fischer. It addresses and expands (and yes, in some cases, speculates) on some of those lingering questions you may have on Indiana Jones, Episode VII, Industrial Light & Magic and more.

One thing I haven’t seen widely reported – though I may very well have missed it in the conference call – is Bleeding Cool’s report that Fox retains the distribution rights to the existing films.

One take I found rather interesting – if a bit paranoid – is from The Daily Intel’s Kevin Roose. He speculates that the deal is a financial dud and that Disney is getting Lucasfilm “for a steal.” I doubt this is the last we’ll hear on the financial side of this – and it’s clearly written from the perspective of a Star Wars cynic – but it’s something to keep in mind, at least. In another corner of New York Magazine, Vulture’s Kyle Buchanan and Margaret Lyons have 7 questions about Episode VII.

But overall, I think the reaction has been fairly positive, as Disney is able and – apparently – willing to let fresh eyes take on the franchise

Of course, there’s speculation on the new trilogy everywhere. ThinkProgress’ Alyssa Rosenberg weighs in on how Disney could make Episode VII awesome with 5 ideas plucked from the pages of the Expanded Universe, while Forbes’ Alex Knapp has three options and AMOG’s Keith Veronese has five. (IGN even pulled one up from their archives.) I’m sure we’re going to be seeing everyone and their vat-grown clone throw their favorite book/comic/Boba fetish into the hat for the foreseeable future. We talked a bit about this on Tosche Station last night, but you’ll just have to wait on that one!

Outside of the news sites, we’re seeing lots from the fans – and pros! – on this as well. Author Jason Fry took to Tumblr, as did Bria and Jay. Fansite proprietors at Geek My Life, NJOE and Knights Archive. And, of course, SF/F godfather John Scalzi had some thoughts as well.

What will Disney buying Lucasfilm mean for the Star Wars Expanded Universe publishers?

What will happen to the Expanded Universe? Well, it’s too soon to tell, honestly, but a sequel trilogy could certainly mean upheaval in the galaxy far, far away – and the post-Return of the Jedi continuity that’s been in the works for the past several decades. My bare bones advice? It’s time to start hardening yourself to a more fluid concept of continuity and canon. (You might also want to check out IGN’s Joey Esposito’s great post on the 007 approach to continuity.) But it is far, far too soon to speculate about what new Star Wars movies will bring to the party when we don’t know anything about them aside from their basic existence. (Yes, I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts on all that later, but one thing at a time!)

One place we can speculate on is who’s going to handling that future in publishing. We’ve seen no indication that Disney is going to shake up the way Lucasfilm works, so we can assume that Lucasbooks will remain the guiding hand. But what of the licensees themselves? They all have contracts, so things will stay as they are for now. But once those contracts are up?

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Disney buys Lucasfilm, plans sequel trilogy to start in 2015

disney-lfl-iger-lucas

Yes, it’s official and it is 100% for real: Disney has acquired Lucasfilm. (Here it is on StarWars.com.) We’ll know more details in a few minutes but some of the points from the press release and conference call:

  • George Lucas to be “creative consultant” on franchise; Kathleen Kennedy will continue to lead company under Disney.
  • Offer is for 4.05 billion dollars – half in cash, half in Disney stock.
  • Star Wars: Episode 7 is targeted for release in 2015 with more films in the future – “every 2 to 3 years.” New movies are in “early stage development.”
  • Parks, games and television ARE on the menu. Disney “really likes” the franchise’s potential on TV. Speculation: Live action series on ABC? Star Wars folks on Once Upon A Time? Eek!
  • Lucasfilm’s value is almost all on the Star Wars franchise. Shocking!
  • Indiana Jones has “encumbrances” due to Paramount, so I wouldn’t expect to hear anything solid quickly.

Here’s a video where George Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy talk about the future of the movies:


  Per the release employees will be remaining at their currently locations, so hopefully this is all great news for our friends at Lucasfilm. On the official blog, Pablo Hidalgo writes a bit about the winds of change; Steve Sansweet has weighed in as well, and J.W. Rinzler looks at the ‘history’ of Episodes VII-IX.