Entertainment Weekly has unleashed the cover story, and it’s actually three covers: One for each trilogy. And great news for those who love publicity shots! Honestly, this whole thing makes me yearn for the days of illustrations on magazine covers. But seriously, the main cover story, several new images, and of course, Rey’s parentage and Reylo.
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.
Disney has announced that we can expect the next set of Forces of Destiny shorts on Monday, March 19. All eight new episodes will debut at 10:00 a.m. PT (1:00 p.m. ET) on Disney’s Youtube and Disney.com. The special will air on the Disney Channel the following Monday (March 25) at 9:50 p.m. ET/PT.
Voices include Mark Hamill (Luke), Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn), Lupita Nyong’o (Maz), Kelly Marie Tran (Rose), Tiya Sircar (Sabine), Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka), Vanessa Marshall (Hera), Catherine Taber (Padmé) and Matt Lanter (Anakin).
Titles, descriptions, and images in a gallery under the cut. Continue reading “Forces of Destiny is back on March 19”
The Last Jedi has now made more than $1.3 billion, making it the all-time 9th-biggest global grosser. It’s unlikely to go any higher as we start heading into blockbuster season, with Fifty Shades Freed and Black Panther on the horizon. Scott Mendelson at Forbes writes why it’s still (duh) a big win for Disney.
→ Domhnall Gleeson was at Sundance for National Lampoon biopic A Futile and Stupid Gesture, and we’ve gotten several interviews from him that touch on the sequel trilogy. In an IMDB interview, he revealed the origins of Hux’s blaster scene.With The Huffington Post, he talks about Hux and the aim of the character, while on the Happy Sad Confused podcast he touches on The Last Jedi‘s “broken phone call,” surviving the film, and his relationship with Kylo Ren. Also recently unearthed in a Japanese guide to The Force Awakens is a behind the scenes photo of Gleeson (with J.J. Abrams) filming the snow rescue scene that was cut.
→ Lupita Nyong’o is profiled in The Hollywood Reporter, and she talks a bit about the security measures of getting The Force Awakens script. On Episode IX: “I don’t know yet,” she says. “I’ll know soon.”
→ Rotten Tomatoes says that The Last Jedi was 2017’s best-reviewed SF/F movie.
Announced overnight, just ahead of the official opening of Celebration Orlando, is Forces of Destiny, a new series of animated shorts highlighting Rey, Jyn Erso, Sabine Wren, Leia Organa, Ahsoka Tano and more.
The series will launch in July on the Disney Youtube, with additional shorts debuting on the Disney Channel in the fall. Daisy Ridley, Felicity Jones, Tiya Sircar, Ashley Eckstein and Lupita Nyong’o (Maz Kanata) are among those returning to voice their characters.
The series will also have book and action figure tie-ins. We’ll learn more later Friday at the “Heroines of Star Wars” panel here in Orlando.
In an interview with Collider, Lupita Nyong’o said that she hadn’t yet shot for Episode VIII, which wrapped primary photography in the summer. “That’s in my future,” she said of working with VIII director Rian Johnson.
Nyong’o was announced as part of the VIII cast when production began, and Johnson did share a picture of what appeared to be motion capture of her character, Maz Kanata – a test, perhaps? (Part of me wonders now if they swapped in Maz for another digital character who has yet to be revealed or finalized. Or maybe she’s just part of the standard demo?)
The most logical answer for when Nyong’o films for VIII would be the ubiquitous reshoots, which probably won’t happen until next year. In the meantime she has Queen of Katwe opening at the end of the month and Marvel’s Black Panther coming up for 2018.
Lupita Nyong’o shared a new behind-the-scenes clip from the Blu-Ray for #MazMonday – there’s also now a Maz Kanata emoji in the Star Wars app
→ The cover to Marvel’s The Force Awakens #1 is… Certainly a comic book cover.
StarWars.com has the official announcement that Episode VIII has begun production at Pinewood this morning. It adds officially adds three new actors: Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern, and newcomer Kelly Marie Tran. (Entertainment Weekly takes a look at Tran’s previous work.)
Returning from The Force Awakens are Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, and Andy Serkis.
Video footage shows director Rian Johnson, Hamill and Ridley filming on Skellig Micheal in September, and a hint as to where VIII picks up…
…Or is it? Note that only one shot – Ridley holding out the saber – is actually a close duplicate to what we saw in The Force Awakens. While they may be keeping things less restrictive this time, let’s not put too much faith in what they’re willing to show us.
Meanwhile, as the day winds down…