Per usual, the Vanity Fair story on the upcoming Star Wars film – The Rise of Skywalker, the final episode of “the Skywalker saga,” the grand finale of all three trilogies, etc. – was chock full of information. Granted, most of it’s peicemeal, but that’s where we tiny fan blogs live, isn’t it? Let’s dig in.Continue reading “What we learned about The Rise of Skywalker from Vanity Fair”
John Boyega got his hands dirty – and a little bloody – on the set of Episode IX today. He shared on Instagram: “Great working day on set!! The whole team pushed themselves today to achieve something visually crazy! I’ve had many moments of shock on set but not like today and I can’t wait until you know why. #FN2187”
In non-Star Wars news, he’s executive producing and overseeing the soundtrack for God Is Good, a South African crime thriller.
→ Naomi Ackie nabbed a role in the upcoming Game of Thrones prequel series.
→ Adam Driver has been doing a lot of press for BlacKkKlansman during awards season, and in a recent Q&A he briefly addressed signing on for Star Wars and having “one piece of information of where it was all going.”
→ Dominic Monaghan shared his Episode IX jacket, as well as attending a Manchester United game with Kelly Marie Tran and Billie Lourd.
→ In the realm of possible spoilers, another Making Star Wars set report.
→ And for those who want to avoid the (possible) spoilers, there have been a few reports that a trailer has been cut, but little on the timing. No one is ruling out one appearing early (by which I mean, before Celebration in April) but it seems more likely to me that we’ll get a title as (maybe) production officially finishes, which is how things went down for The Force Awakens. (And that’s likely soon, given all the cast and crew gifts we’ve seen lately.) Could we get a teaser of some sort then? Never say never, but I’m not counting on it. Of course, I’ve been wrong before.
J.J. Abrams’ Episode IX will begin filming on August 1 at London’s Pinewood Studios, StarWars.com has announced, confirming that Billy Dee Williams, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher (via unused The Force Awakens footage) will be returning.
Interestingly, the release calls IX “the final installment of the Skywalker saga.”
As expected, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Anthony Daniels, Joonas Suotamo, and Billie Lourd are also returning. They’re being joined by new (to Star Wars) faces, Naomi Ackie and Richard E. Grant.
More details on the Fisher footage:
The role of Leia Organa will once again be played by Carrie Fisher, using previously unreleased footage shot for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. “We desperately loved Carrie Fisher,” says Abrams. “Finding a truly satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker saga without her eluded us. We were never going to recast, or use a CG character. With the support and blessing from her daughter, Billie, we have found a way to honor Carrie’s legacy and role as Leia in Episode IX by using unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII.”
Composer John Williams and Director of Photography Dan Mindel are also returning.
Billie Lourd talks to American Horror Story co-star Sarah Paulson about growing up with Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.
While the 40 years of Star Wars panel was light on news, it was fairly heavy on the feels. The much-vaunted surprises turned out to be George Lucas (as predicted,) Harrison Ford (who I don’t think anyone expected) and Billie Lourd, who took part in a truly epic tribute to Carrie Fisher.
I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house after the tribute video (above,) and it was only enhanced by the reveal of John Williams and the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra playing Princess Leia’s theme. They followed up with the Main Theme and the Imperial March, just in time to allow us to regain our composure.
The video does contain a look at Fisher on-set in The Last Jedi, but in the scheme of things that feels secondary. And while the panel did mainly focus on the first 6 films, it’s really only appropriate that it ended the way it did. Tomorrow, we’ll look ahead.
Carrie Fisher may appear in Episode IX after all. Todd Fisher tells the New York Daily News that he and Carrie’s daughter Billie Lourd have given Lucasfilm permission to use “recent footage” of her for the trilogy’s finale:
“Both of us were like, ‘Yes, how do you take her out of it?’ And the answer is you don’t,” said Fisher, as he attended the opening night gala of the TCM Film Festival in Los Angeles, celebrating “In the Heat of the Night.”
“She’s as much a part of it as anything and I think her presence now is even more powerful than it was, like Obi Wan — when the saber cuts him down he becomes more powerful. I feel like that’s what’s happened with Carrie. I think the legacy should continue.”
Fisher had finished filming for The Last Jedi prior to her death in December. Lucasfilm said they had “no plans to digitally recreate” Fisher as Leia in January. In March, Disney CEO Bob Iger said that her death hadn’t changed Leia’s role in Episode VIII.
Episode IX, to be directed by Jurassic World’s Colin Trevorrow, is due out in 2019.
Carrie’s daughter Billie Lourd has posted on her Instagram for the first time since the death of her mother and grandmother, thanking fans for their support and saying: “There are no words to express how much I will miss my Abadaba and my one and only Momby. Your love and support means the world to me.” Todd Fisher also discussed his mother and sister on Friday’s 20/20.
Carrie’s half-sister Joely Fisher penned a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter: “You all lost Princess Leia and Carrie Fisher; I lost my hero, my mentor, my mirror.”
Also at THR, Mark Hamill writes at length about Carrie, sharing a couple of new stories.
Meanwhile, HBO has moved up the documentary about Carrie and Debbie, Bright Lights, to Saturday, January 7 at 8 p.m. Wishful Drinking, Carrie’s one-woman show from 2010, is currently streaming on HBO Go.
Actual shooting for Episode VIII has begun, and sure enough, pictures continue to leak. They do mostly seem to be extras, or at least unknown actors, as well as props. The most curious addition seems to be someone riding a creature. Speculation has it that the rider may be another ‘stunt double’ for an actor who isn’t (as far as we know) present.
In other news, Billie Lourd will be back, and her role will be at least a little larger this time. No word if she’ll still be sporting the hair buns.
After a successful deployment at Celebration Anaheim earlier this year, StarWars.com will be livestreaming The Force Awakens red carpet at the film’s official world premiere in Los Angeles on December 14. Andi Gutierrez, Anthony Carboni, and David Collins will be hosting and interviewing the cast and other notables.
→ J.J. Abrams talks to io9 about the script process (including Michael Arndt’s exit,) starting fresh with Lawrence Kasdan and even the Expanded Universe. (On that note, The Hollywood Reporter on the pre-Abrams story meetings.) At Nerdist, he says he wants to see Selma’s Ava DuVernay do a Star Wars film. She seems game! And Pablo Hidalgo’s fame continues to spread, as he’s the subject of the first question from the Associated Press.
→ Daisy Ridley and John Boyega are in the New York Times! With the AP, John shares the story of how (and why) he got Robert Downey Jr. as his mentor in fame. But he couldn’t resist getting a little saucy about Star Trek with Yahoo. (Well, about William Shatner, technically. Which is, I believe, legal under the Carrie Directive)
→ It was Oscar Isaac’s turn on Good Morning America today, where he talked about flying an X-wing.
→ A film still of Billie Lourd in the movie has been floating around for a while now (plus she was in one of the first TV spots) but People has an official character portrait, in which we can see she wears her hair in a toned-down version of Leia’s iconic buns. Still no character name, though.
→ J.J. Abrams, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Adam Driver were in Seoul today goofing around, while Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o and Kathleen Kennedy were in Mexico City. I can’t find any reports in English, but damn they looked cool.
→ Also: The Force Awakens was the #1 movie on Facebook for 2015; Yesterday’s spoilerific Rey action figure got DMCA’d; NASA scientist would pick Threepio over BB-8 or Artoo to take to space. I am outraged! I have to go lay down now.
Will we see the Skellig Michael location in Episode VIII? The Irish Times says a production team visited the island recently. At least two actors were present for the Episode VII filming there last July, and if one believes the plot rumors it seems likely that the location could reoccur. (Or there’s always Rogue One, I suppose.)
Meanwhile, Jedi News is saying that The Force Awakens also filmed in Scotland, though not with actors.
→ Also appearing in the latest issue of Interview magazine (Domhnall Gleeson is one of the cover models) is Billie Lourd, who denies that she’s playing Leia’s daughter, not that that was ever rumored, but hey, it’s not like we get a ton of denials these days.