Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy was among those who spoke at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit today, where she addressed the number of women at Lucasfilm (particularly on the Story Group) and said that she’s confident that there will be a woman directing a Star Wars film one day.
“I have a huge number of men who call me,” she says. “And tell me how much of a Star Wars fan they are, how much they want to get involved in anything to do with Star Wars. I don’t have a lot of women who call.”
It’s a strong parallel to points made in an essay by actress Jennifer Lawrence that came out today, about getting paid less than her male co-stars.
Author James Luceno talks about Star Wars, the new canon and his upcoming novel Tarkin with SciFiNow.
He says he’s seen the series bible for Rebels and that when it comes to the old EU:
I chose not to really reference too much EU material only because of the setting of the story, but it was still there. It was still there to pick and choose from.
Though he does point out that there’s not that much to begin with in the primary setting of the novel. (5 years after Revenge of the Sith.)
However, as far as Episode VII goes? He knows nothing. But he makes a good point as to the Story Group:
Without spilling secrets they can say, ‘I think this isn’t a good place to go with this book’ or ‘You might want to steer clear of this topic.’ This is part of an effort to maintain a so-called continuity where every book and every game and every comic will all be part of a single story going forward, and that wasn’t the case earlier on.
Tarkin is due out November 4.
The Rebels blitz continues, with the Wall Street Journal today featuring Lucasfilm’s Kiri Hart.
Tasked by head honcho Kathleen Kennedy to develop and oversees new Star Wars content, Hart and her ‘team of five’ (the Story Group, ahem) keep a tight rein on the galaxy… Although she does know there’s room for a lot of different things in the franchise:
“I think there are boundaries, but we don’t want to rigidly define them,” she said. “It’s obviously not slapstick comedy, but there’s room for many different stories and genres that still feel like ‘Star Wars.'”
One filmmaker says she is “as close to a Kevin Feige as there is at Lucas,” and in a longer interview she details some of Lucasfim’s recent choices.
We pretty quickly arrived at a content plan that stretches out for several years and we didn’t go looking for those ideas. Those existed internally. We were in a situation of looking for people to help us execute the ideas we had.
On setting aside the EU:
I’m crazily passionate about this idea of narratives travelling across different platforms. It just feels like a golden opportunity. This is a fictional universe that not only supports [narrative coherence] but invites it.
In addition, we wouldn’t be giving the right green space to our filmmakers if we mandated they stay within the stories that have been told [in books.]
I haven’t experienced “Star Wars” being for boys, because I loved it from seven years old. I was so powerfully influenced by Princess Leia as a kid. I remember being transfixed by her — she was so empowered and smart and funny.
There are a lot of different types of characters. “Star Wars” should be diverse because it’s a big galaxy.
This certainly sheds some light for us on how things are working internally these days!
Turns out Jedi News was onto something after all: Four rough episodes of The Clone Wars – an arc featuring Obi-wan, Anakin, and Utapau – have made their debut on StarWars.com this afternoon.
They also reveal the title for the Christie Golden Asajj Ventress novel announced at SDCC: Dark Disciple.
Still no S6 DVD news, though I wouldn’t be surprised if those Utapau roughs make it on there.
Entertainment Weekly is acting like they’ve never heard the term ‘Lucasfilm Story Group’ before in an article today where they ‘exclusively’ inform us that things from Episode VII may very well show up in Rebels.
“There are characters, vehicles, imagery that are introduced in the show before we’ve ever seen them in the movies, possibly including VII,” Simon Kinberg tells them.
Of course, he told /Film back at SDCC that “We haven’t really talked about that,” so take it as you will. Playing coy is the name of the game here, I suppose. But consider that season 2 of Rebels is likely to premiere next October, just as we’re likely to see some serious marketing ramp up for Episode VII, and it seems pretty likely that the two are going to tie together with something more significant than some ships and speeders. On that hand, it does seem a bit early to unleash the certain point of viewing, so they really want you to watch Rebels.
In other news/rumors…
→ There’s now a video from the Greenham Common set, and someone thinks they’ve spotted a different kind of X-wing. Maybe this one can really be a Headhunter, for the truthers.
→ On that note, could Daisy Ridley’s character name indeed be [redacted]? Well, as always: Maybe?
→ Where in the galaxy is Luke Skywalker? Round, umm, let’s say 5.
→ Mark Ruffalo wants in. Aww, Mark Ruffalo.
→ Are we really taking random message board posters seriously now? Because now there’s one who claims to know all about Adam Driver’s role. Okay!
Newsarama has another interview with John Jackson Miller about A New Dawn.He does have some wise words on canon and the Legends label:
I really think it’s a mistake for people to play the canon/not-canon parlor game. What they said when they made the announcement is that the previous material wasn’t being discarded, it would be drawn from – inspirations and ideas would come from it. The planets are the same; the species are the same. You know, the Rebels series uses the same manufacturer of the TIE fighters that was introduced in the Role Playing Games years ago. My book revolves around a strategic compound that I introduced back in KOTOR years ago! The universe is the same.
The thing about “Legends,” and that’s the word on the cover of the previous material: Legends can be true, in part or in whole. They inspire, they are sort of like the King Arthur story – parts of that, little bits of that here and there are true.
He goes on to talk about A New Dawn specifically and some of the other things he’s working on. And don’t forget to check out James’ video interview!
Lest anyone confuse the issue (reported on first by Lightsaber Rattling and, today, The Hollywood Reporter) Star Wars Insider short stories are canon from the current story, ‘Blade Squadron’ on. The first part of the story, in Insider #149, came out shortly before the official announcement regarding the Expanded Universe.
Today on Twitter, Del Rey says the movie novelizations are part of the core canon. So thus I guess Owen Lars is Obi-Wan’s brother, Luke had a dog as a kid, and ducks exist in the GFFA. (I am partial to the ducks, because ducks.) Some doubters are waiting on word from the story group, so we’ll see. In the meantime, what other contradictions do you remember?
UPDATE: “To clarify, movie novelizations are canon where they align with what is seen on screen in the 6 films and the Clone Wars animated movie.” Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.
Earlier today, we had our first official statement on the Expanded Universe’s place in the light of the new films. Now, we get more on the novels going forward. After John Jackson Miller’s A New Dawn (September 2,) we’re getting Tarkin by James Luceno (November 4) and…
Heir to the Jedi by Kevin Hearne (January) was originally announced as part of the loose Empire and Rebellion trilogy pre-Disney… They dropped the subtitle on Honor Among Thieves, but that and Razor’s Edge both fall under Legends with the rest of the old EU, per Lucasfilm editor Jennifer Heddle. In any case, this book is a first-person Luke Skywalker story. (First person? I’m suddenly a lot less excited, but whatever, I’ll read it.)
Lords of the Sith by Paul S. Kemp (March) features Palpatine and Vader “stranded in the middle of insurgent action on an inhospitable planet, they must rely solely on each other, the Force, and their awesome martial skills to prevail.” And Kemp says the book also features “a character who I’m not allowed to name just yet, but who appeared in The Clone Wars animated series.” Subtle!
These are being announced by both Disney Publishing and Random House… Curious, no?
This is not a movie.
Great Bloomberg feature on Marvel’s Kevin Feige. And some interesting implications for Star Wars, if you read between the lines: Doesn’t Marvel’s “six-member creative committee with people steeped in comic book lore” sound a lot like Lucasfilm’s Story Group?