Inside the new Star Wars Insider with Pablo Hidalgo

I admit it – sometimes it’s hard not to be a snob about print. Yeah, I still love reading magazines, but when it comes to news? They’re slow. Still, looks like Star Wars fans owe Pablo Hidalgo and the Star Wars Insider crew a small debt for making sure that the sequel news actually got into the next possible issue, as Pablo reveals in his latest blog entry.

We were disappointed to find out that the Insider interview with George Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy was transcribed from the videos (4 of the 5 of which we’ve already seen,) but Pablo does reveal that the Insider version has some content that “will never make it into the web series.” (The fifth video – and last, reportably – will go online the 31st.)

Time to get a Star Wars Insider subscription again?

As someone who’s generally pretty well informed on what’s going on with the franchise, I go back and forth on the Star Wars Insider.

I let my subscription lapse more than a year ago and pick up the issues at Barnes & Noble… And often forget to read them anyway. (Yes, it’s available digitally, and I’m not really much of a collector, but I think I have them all since issue #24.)

The magazine is hobbled by the same general issues as most of print media – it’s always, always going to be a day (actually a month, or several months) late when it comes to breaking news. That’s just the nature of the beast, but I figure the Insider isn’t really meant for folks like me, the fans who read dozens of news sites daily. It’s for the casual fans. There’s a fine line to walk to attract the hardcores without alienating the core audience – the short stories being perhaps the latest (successful?) attempt.

But with new movies coming up (and hopefully, an end to the parade of generic Clone Wars covers) it’s perhaps time to renew. The new issue features an interview with George Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy about the new movies. Will it contain anything we haven’t heard yet? (Also, a Tim Zahn interview and short story.) Well, we’ll find out on the 11th.

What are your thoughts on the Insider? If they lost you, what would it take to bring you back?

Episode VII roundup: Kennedy in, McCallum out

Behind the scenes. IGN’s Lucy O’Brien has a nice profile of Kathleen Kennedy, “Star Wars’ new Emperor,” and her film-making resume.

Meanwhile, shuffling up into the spotlight is the news that Rick McCallum has retired from Lucasfilm. The big question seems to be where this leaves the live-action series, which McCallum has been the main ambassador for and which hasn’t been much mentioned since D-Day. Honestly, given what’s been said of it so far, it’s one project that I don’t really mind staying on the back burner for a while longer.

Outside looking in. Scott Myers looks at some of the recent information and surmises that Disney may be taking the Pixar approach to Star Wars story development.

Actors. The real question is who doesn’t want in on Star Wars, but thus far we’ve heard from Derek Jacobi, David Tennant, plus Thor’s Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston.

Report: Kennedy tells Lucasfilm employees they plan to make “two or three films a year”

The Star Wars issue of Entertainment Weekly isn’t out yet, but apparently Kotaku got an early peek at it – and they’re reporting that Kathleen Kennedy says that Lucasfilm wants to make “two or three films a year.”

The full quote appears in the comments, from Luke Plunkett:

Lucasfilm’s co-chairman and soon-to-be president, Kathleen Kennedy, has told employees she wants the company to produce two or three films a year (it’s averaged fewer than four per decade), and first up is Star Wars: Episode VII for 2015, which will pick up sometime after Darth Vader gave his life to overthrow (figuratively and literally) the Emperor and save Luke in 1983’s Episode VI— Return of the Jedi. Yes, the plan is to return to the characters in the first trilogy (1977–83). Whether the original actors will have significant roles or merely be on hand to pass the baton to a new generation of actors—something Lucasfilm tried with mixed success with Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Disney with TRON: Legacy—is unclear.

Two or three? Well, we can probably assume we’ll get three in 2014 – the 3-D re-releases of the original trilogy. But somehow, I doubt that’s what she’s talking about… Disney seems mostly focused on Star Wars, but that’s… A lot of Star Wars. (Market saturation much?) If they are all Star Wars, anyway.

… Or this could all be a misquote of the original thing we heard about one movie every 2 to 3 years. Personally, that’s what I’m hoping for.

Video: Kathleen Kennedy and George Lucas on directors and getting started on Episode VII

StarWars.com has released the second video featuring Kathleen Kennedy and George Lucas talking about the new Star Wars films, Lucas’ role in them, and what they’re looking for in a director.

There’s some overlap with the first video in the beginning, Kennedy did mention “people she’s worked with in the past,” but didn’t bring up any names. “I think we have a unique opportunity to go after some incredibly talented people,” she says. “It’s not going to be people who don’t already have some affinity for Star Wars probably, it’s gonna be somebody who really appreciates what Star Wars meant to them and is excited to dive in and be a part of this. I think the thing that will be immediately apparent are the directors who walk into the room and say ‘I can’t wait to be a part of this.'”

“I think it’s going to be a pretty long list,” Kennedy concludes.

Report: George Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy meeting with “well-known screenwriters” to pitch ideas for Episode VII

Today in Episode 7 reports, we have the Los Angeles Times’ Steven Zeitchik and John Horn saying that “several different screenwriters paid visits to Lucasfilm’s Northern California compound to pitch George Lucas and his co-chair Kathleen Kennedy their ideas for the new live-action installment.” Their source went on to say “they were well-known screenwriters with experience creating big-budget Hollywood films,” and the stories were not adapted from existing Star Wars books. (via)

Their source is anonymous, but this does dovetail neatly with something Kennedy said in the video released Tuesday: “We’re sitting down with a couple of writers and we’re starting to discuss ideas; We’re starting to talk about what those stories might be.” I feel comfortable putting this one in the ‘fairly plausible’ column.