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.

Kevin Hearne turns in his Luke Skywalker novel

luke-anhKevin Hearne tweeted today that he “just clicked SEND on my Star Wars novel. Let the editing begin!” The Luke Skywalker-centric book is the third and presumably final book in the loose Empire and Rebellion series. The previous books, Martha Wells’ Razor’s Edge and James S. A. Corey’s Honor Among Thieves, are already out.

We don’t have an officially announced release date, but an Edelweiss listing spotted last month had it coming out on January 18.

Celebration Anaheim stage hosts announced

Celebration VII The new Insider has named the stage hosts for next year’s Celebration Anaheim. Returning are James Arnold Taylor (Celebration Stage,) David Collins (Digital Stage) and Gus Lopez (Collecting Track.) There are new hosts for the Behind-The-Scenes stage, which has been the domain of Pablo Hidalgo for the past several cons: Jason Swank and Jimmy Mac McInerney of RebelForce Radio. Is Pablo too busy with his Story Team duties? Will he only be acting as a panelist, in line with his Story Team duties? We worry.

Out this week: The Star Wars #7, Darth Vader and the Cry of Shadows #5

The Star Wars #7Head to the comic shop this week to pick up The Star Wars #7, Darth Vader and the Cry of Shadows #5 and the second Brian Wood Star Wars trade collection, From the Ruins of Alderaan.

In stores now, because I am a ding-a-ling and haven’t done a releases post in a couple weeks, is Star Wars #16 and the paperback of Tim Lebbon’s Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void, a novel based on the Dawn of the Jedi comics. I liked it, even going in with no background on the era, and gave it a B+ when it came out in hardcover last year.

We still don’t have too much in the way of upcoming releases, but there is J.W. Rinzler’s Star Wars Storyboards: The Original Trilogy (May 13) and William Shakespeare’s The Jedi Doth Return by Ian Doescher, plus the paperback of Troy Denning’s Crucible (both July 1.)

He doesn’t know and doesn’t care who shot first: Highlights of Harrison Ford’s Reddit AMA

Harrison FordHarrison Ford had an AMA on Reddit this afternoon as part of the promotion for the Showtime documentary Years of Living Dangerously. This was more brief and less focused on Star Wars (and guacamole) than Mark Hamill’s a few months back, but Ford did answer several Star Wars and Indiana Jones questions.

He was gracious:

Someone said thank you for being a part of so many childhood films: Well, thank you. I really appreciate that. It’s a privilege to be able to be involved with people as talented as the people I’ve had the luck to work with, and it’s just been a great experience for me, and I’m glad that so many of the films I’ve had the luck to do were films that could be enjoyed by families together.

But he doesn’t care who shot first. No, really:

I don’t know and I don’t care.

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