Category Archives: sequel trilogy

Disney’s Alan Horn: Second unit shooting for Episode VII is happening in Abu Dhabi, future films may return to May

At a press event this morning (at least Variety and Bloomberg were there) Disney’s Alan Horn dropped us a few bits of Episode VII news. He clarified his earlier remarks, confirming that second unit work has happened in Abu Dhabi, though principal photography has not yet started. (Note that we still don’t know if The National pics are actually a Star Wars set.)

Horn reiterated that the film’s budget could be as much as $200M, and that George Lucas is acting as a consultant. He also said that the franchise may revert back to May release dates for future films, depending on the scripts, and that he’s flying to London this week to go over the Episode VII script with J.J. Abrams.

An announcement on casting will be coming “very shortly,” though per usual, we’ll believe that when we see it.

If you leak confidential information about Bad Robot productions, J.J. Abrams will destroy you

Don't talk, or the droid gets it.

Don’t talk, or the droid gets it.

So says this supposed Bad Robot new hire memo. I have to wonder; does that apply to leaking the memo as well? Will future versions include a postscript about how yes, that does include using info to get laid?

Of course, we know of old that Lucasfilm has their own high-tech ways of making sure that information remains internally… OR DO THEY?!?

Okay, seriously, this would be super easy to fake, and I suspect if it’s real it was some sort of internal April Fools joke or something. I mean, if you’re going to do the “I have a very special set of skills” thing, seems to be it’s best delivered in person, and without evidence.

UPDATE: And, surprising no one, this is apparently a fake. You don’t say!

Rumor: Is this our first photo of an Episode VII set?

Abu-Dhabi-set-maybeThe National, a newspaper in Abu Dhabi, claims it has the first image of the Star Wars set in the desert there:

The photos, taken on Tuesday morning in the dunes near Qasr Al Sarab resort, reveal a large encampment of tents with four to five workers moving around what appear to be parts of a filmset.

It is one piece of equipment in particular, however, that is the most suggestive: a giant, round, grey disc, which bears a striking resemblance to parts of an escape pod on which C3P0 and R2D2 crash-landed on Tatooine in the original, 1977, Star Wars: A New Hope film.

They go to say that according to ‘sources,’ “crew members have already been hired for the Abu Dhabi leg of the secret production.”

Are you convinced? An Abu Dhabi location shoot has been rumored, but is not confirmed by Lucasfilm or Disney. And honestly it looks like it could easily be part of a water main to me.

In other Episode VII ‘news’ today, a pair of random actors (Ansel Elgort and Beau Mirchoff) say they auditioned for Episode VII. Alrighty then!

UPDATE: More details from The National’s investigation, which involves, I kid you not, the dating app Tinder.

Rumor: Episode VII to head to Abu Dhabi?

SEQUEL TRILOGY RUMORS: Take seriously at your own risk.The Hollywood Reporter is on a roll. Tonight, they say Episode VII will film in Abu Dhabi for four weeks beginning in mid-May – something Jedi News was reporting (along with Cairo) last week.

THR thinks it may be home to the ‘new’ Tatooine – but there’s also plenty of modern architecture in Abu Dhabi that could be put to good use as well.

Rumor: Oxford-educated actress up for Episode VII role

Maisie Richardson-SellersLast night, The Hollywood Reporter claimed that Maisie Richardson-Sellers, a young Oxford-educated actress, is “in line to nab an undisclosed and possibly major role” in Episode VII.

THR believes that role may be the one described (according to them in January) as a descendent of Obi-wan Kenobi, a report that was met with some skepticism.

Richardson-Sellers recently starred in the play They Will Be Red at the Burton Taylor Studio Theatre.

Rumor: Episode VII to return to Tatooine?

tatooine1Tatooine again? The Hollywood Reporter is now claiming a source has told them that “an extensive re-creation of Tatooine” is in the cards for “a Morocco-like environment.”

Given the political situation in Tunisia and the various rumors of other desert locations, there could be some truth to this… Or it’s all just a little old-fashioned misdirection. In any case: Rumor.

Big Moon Rising: Why I don’t mind if the Star Wars sequels mean the end of the Expanded Universe

The Death of ChewbaccaI’ve been a Star Wars fan since I was barely 13, and became an Expanded Universe fan only days later. My entire experience of falling in love with Star Wars was prompted and is because of the Expanded Universe; I ‘first’ saw the movies on VHS over Christmas break in 1991. And we wouldn’t have even had those copies in the house if not for the release of Heir to the Empire in the spring of that year.

I owe my entire fandom to Heir to the Empire and the Thrawn trilogy. The Expanded Universe, which was pretty much all there was back in those days, formed the nucleus of my fandom. They hooked me, and they hooked me well enough that I sit here, 22 years later, running a fairly popular blog devoted to the franchise, with those same worn copies of Heir, Dark Force Rising and The Last Command not four feet away.

I love the Expanded Universe. It’s a weird kind of love that you get with this sort of fandom; I kept with it through some of the absolute worst fiction I have ever read, and many books that could I barely bring myself to call mediocre and, yes, even those rare gems that make it all worth it.

But I’m also okay with letting it go.

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Report: Peter Mayhew back as Chewbacca for Episode VII

SWGTCC's Chewbacca, as found via the WookAs we all guessed after that tweet two weeks ago, The Hollywood Reporter is now saying that Peter Mayhew will return as Chewbacca in Episode VII.

Mayhew last donned the Chewbacca suit in Revenge of the Sith, and many speculated he’d be returning after he recovered from knee surgery last year.

The Hollywood Reporter makes this a much stronger report, but we only consider information confirmed if it’s openly from Lucasfilm/Disney or appears on StarWars.com.