Although it was never officially announced, it appears that The Making of Star Wars: The Force Awakens book from Mark Cotta Vaz and J.W. Rinzler has been canceled. A listing for the book appeared before the movie – usually a reliable indicator – and it was pushed back to October before the film’s release. However, it now it no longer appears on the publisher’s site, and Florian at Jedi Bibliothek found a listing on BookManager that says it’s been canceled..
All-out cancellations are rare, but I don’t expect we’ll get any word on the reasoning anytime soon. (Again, it was never actually announced.) My only guess is that it may have something to do with the lawsuit over Harrison Ford’s on-set injury. Note the incident isn’t mentioned in the official behind-the-scenes documentary on The Force Awakens Blu-ray – and may be off-limits until the legal issues have been worked out. Everyone loves the original trilogy Making of books, but here’s hoping we won’t have to wait 30 years for this one.
→ Speaking of the accident… Something we overlooked during the big Rey parentage debacle was J.J. Abrams revealing exactly how Ford’s injury actually helped the film.
→ A great new behind the scenes video from Discover Ireland.
→ Casting director Nina Gold talks about finding Daisy Ridley and John Boyega (plus some Game of Thrones folks) in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
→ Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and actor Oscar Isaac are among of Time’s 100 most influential people.
→ Custom BB-8s created by Star Wars stars and luminaries, being auctioned for charity.
George Lucas is #94 on this year’s Forbes 400, up from last year’s ranking of #114. He’s worth an estimated $4.8 billion at the moment.
Fortune magazine is honoring Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy as one of their selections for 2015’s Most Powerful Women. (She’s #42.) They’ve published a lengthy profile, which includes the interesting factoid that “more than half of her 18-person executive team, with whom she meets weekly, is female.”
The Force Awakens trailer is #3 on Entertainment Weekly’s list of the 25 most memorable moments of 2014. #1 and #2 are both things that sparked actual news (The Interview brouhaha and the Bill Cosby rape accusations) so I’m pretty okay with the placement. #1 most non-depressing entertainment event of the year! Go us!
Star Wars also made the extended list, with the the Force Awakens cast reveal at #56.
The Empire Strikes Back has been voted greatest movie of all time in a new poll from Empire magazine. The original Star Wars clocks in at #6, Return of the Jedi is #120 and Revenge of the Sith is #224.
Last time they did the poll, in 2008, Empire came in third, behind The Godfather and Raiders of the Lost Ark. This time, The Godfather slips to #2 and Raiders fell from #2 to #9.
Actors. An Australian DJ (?!?) is claiming that John Noble will be playing the villain in Episode VII. You probably know Noble as Fringe’s Walter Bishop, or from Lord of the Rings, where he played Denethor, perhaps Middle-Earth’s least stable father figure. Like Walter Bishop, I have my skeptic face on.
Abrams alumni Keri Russell would be down for Star Wars, because once again, who’s going to say they don’t want to be in Star Wars?
And finally, Ewan McGregor doesn’t know anything about the new movies, but it seems like he’s still game. He’ll be talking about his new film, Jack and the Giant Slayer, on Ellen this Friday.
The once and future directors. HuffPo’s Mike Ryan has a great article exploring the Star Wars directors thus far. And at the Star Wars Blog, Bonnie Burton has the relevant quotes from her past interviews with J.J. Abrams.
Solo, solo. Hollywood.com’s Christian Blauvelt talks about casting (and writing) a younger Han Solo with Scoundrels author Timothy Zahn. Since the conversation naturally turns to casting Thrawn, Zahn spoke a bit more about casting his characters back on January’s book tour for Scoundrels.
Video. J.J. Abrams talks about Star Wars, Star Trek and the mystery box in a TED Talk from 2007. (via)
Money matters. George Lucas has filed to cash out his Disney stock – the 37,076,679 shares that were half the purchase price for Lucasfilm. (Note: The move doesn’t mean he has to or even will sell immediately, just that he can.) In any case, it was announced early on that Lucas would donate the company’s purchase price to fund “educational issues.”
Lists. Empire has nine characters who deserve a spin-off. They’re all dudes, naturally, but step over to Alyssa Rosenberg’s blog for five women who should be in Episode VII.
The Hollywood Reportor has named Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy as one of their top ten power women in entertainment.
Kennedy is ninth on the list, which is led by Disney’s Anne Sweeney and NBC’s Bonnie Hammer.
The full list of 100 will be released later today.
The Clone Wars. The Hollywood Reporter’s sources confirm that the cartoon will likely be making the move to Disney XD. Cartoon Network, which is owned by Turner/Time Warner, has the rights only up through current season. DisneyXD airs action-oriented shows and currently has a block dedicated to Marvel cartoons.
Episode 7 rumors. First Showing has a source denying the 1952 rumor, while Skywalking author Dale Pollock tells The Wrap that 7, 8 and 9 were the “most exciting stories.” And though there have been some rumblings from some hopeful to see Steven Spielberg finally take on a full Star Wars film, Spielberg fan Paul Bullock lays out some reasons why this is unlikely.
Ladies! Slate’s Alyssa Rosenberg on how women can save the Star Wars franchise. Like I said earlier, I would love a female protagonist heading this thing! It doesn’t even have to be someone we already know.
Reaction. Entertainment Weekly nabbed some big name Hollywood talent on how they feel about more Star Wars. Knights Archive has a nice collection of comments from Lucasfilm folks, authors, actors and other notables. MTV talked to TFN’s Eric Geller and Big Shiny Robot’s Bryan Young, while ABC News asked Devi Laskar, artist Tom Hodges, and yours truly. And our friends over the pond at Jedi News are talking to the U.K. media! But you don’t have to go to the news sites: Thoughts from fans like Michael Heilemann and Amy Ratcliffe. As for Expanded Universe fans, here are more thoughts from Tosche Station’s Brian, Knight Archive’s Ryan, and Fangirl’s Tricia Barr.
Speculation! Lists! People just can’t stop writing them. The Hollywood Reporter finds 15 potential writers, Slashfilm has 10 filmmakers to direct (and 5 who shouldn’t,) and Big Shiny Robot has yet more possible directors. Taking a different track, Screenrant has pros and cons of the deal, while Hitfix has some things to watch.
And now for something completely different… You know it’s not real news until crazy folks at NMA weigh in with a video. For something more serious, check out Empire’s infographic of who has what franchises.
Or is it Attack of the Clones? Well, I suppose that depends on your certain point of view…
Earlier this week, Vulture posted a massive list of what they’re calling the most influential fan bases, and Star Wars came in number 2 – pretty good, all things considered. Occupying the #1 spot is Game of Thrones, which I can’t really be all that bitter about seeing as they’re peaking right now. (And, well, I’m a fan, if not technically in the fandom.)
It’s an interesting series, but one major qualm with the Star Wars listing: Warsies? Dude, no one with an actual clue uses that term. It’s not even a Trekker/Trekkie situation: No one uses it.
The Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Star Trek, Joss Whedon and Lord of the Rings fandoms also made the list. It’s all part of a week-long series, which also covers things like naming your fandom (don’t,) psychology and the crazy shit fans buy.
They’ve also profiled several influential fans, including the Leaky Cauldron’s Melissa Anelli, The One Ring’s Erica Challis and TFN’s Dustin Roberts.
Gizmodo tries their hand at listing the most embarrassing official Star Wars merchandise, and while they do hit a few – the (hopefully) never-to-be-topped Jar Jar lollipop, the Star Wars Christmas album, the fishing tackle – overall, I think their choices are pretty weak. Sure, most of it is really, truly dumb, but it takes more than some Artoo Christmas lights to get us clutching our pearls.
In fact, I’m sure we can do better: Hell, we have a whole tag devoted to the crazy stuff that Lucasfilm approves. My vote goes to the vaginal Sarlacc toy. Or the pan-fried Vader hospital playset. Or perhaps Le Parfum Des Jedi? (And let’s not even start on the fiction, the comment thread will never end.) It’s a rich minefield down that rabbit hole. What’s your favorite?