Friday, August 15, 2014

BIG "Star Wars: Episode VII" News And RUMOR Round-Up

The latest from the mill concerning J.J. Abrams' "Star Wars: Episode VII"....

 Original Trilogy stars Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker Harrison Ford as Han Solo  and Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, Peter Mayhew playing the legendary Wookiee Chewbacca, and Kenny Baker as Astro droid R2 D2 will be back.
Franchise creator George Lucas told Bloomberg Businessweek that he begun talks with original stars to have them return to for its new films -- before he had even begun the process of the ultimately $2 billion deal and sale. It's been said that Lucas' actually spent about a year planning the franchise's future before handing the reigns of Lucasfilm over to Disney.

The new cast members also include John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson,Christina Chong and  Max von Sydow as a villain character. 12 Years a Slave Best Supporting Actress Lupita Nyong'o and Game of Thrones co-star Gwendoline Christie have officially been cast in the film as well. Parkour master Pip Andersen and actress Crystal Clarke have joined the sequel--the pair were two of the 37,000 or so hopefuls who attended casting calls across eleven cities

Disney/Lucasfilm haven't revealed any character details at all however, so which of the newcomers is playing which roles is all speculation at this point.

We know the Imperial Stormtroopers are getting a refit in the film.

Now, Indie Revolver has posted photos via Twitter of two versions we might be seeing in the film. The first is a variation of the original Stormtrooper design with some slight updates, most notably the vent is said to be only on one side, and the eye area has been adjusted and enlarged.

The second is referred to as a 'Jungle Trooper' but looks more like a variation on the Snowtrooper design from "The Empire Strikes Back".

The site also has some details on the helmet design: "[This] feels like a natural continuation from the original, but there are distinct differences. The helmet is not symmetrical - there's only one breather/vent on the bottom near the mouth, on his left side. The black "mouth" area under the white nose plate appears to be a cloth/mesh (which you can better see in the detail shot below). The eye lenses are still separate, but set into a black frame to connect them and give the illusion of one single piece."

Latino Review adds that we'll see a variation of that design--with chrome--to accommodate the armor's cloaking abilities.

Indie Revolver has also posted several pieces of concept art that might give us an idea of how Han may look in the movie.


Badass Digest also has a report about the new ship that Han and Chewie will pilot in the film:

"According to my sources Han and Chewie are piloting a Super Star Destroyer. I believe the Falcon is in the hands of Oscar Isaac's character, who is very much the Lando Calrissian of this movie – all the way down to wearing a cape."

The site also says there's several variations of TIE Fighter in the film, and that we will see Han get to use a Lightsaber again.

There has also been much speculation about the potential villains in the sequel--Everything from Sith Lords, to bounty hunters to 'Sith Witches'--even The Inquisitor from the upcoming "Star Wars Rebels" animated series. There is no confirmation regarding who the big bads are.


Now, Latino Review has dropped a pretty massive report that reveals some potentially major spoilers about the movie's plot. Whilst most of the rumors so far have dealt with the first act of the film, this reveal is very much second act stuff.

It suggests the 'The Inquisitors' are the villains of the movie: "The Inquisitors are defenders of the Sith Order and they've been around for a long time. Just how long is what turns Episode VII's story on its head"

Now we start hitting the real spoilers. Luke Skywalker has been captured by the Inquisitors, and once he escapes he tells his friends their story. That leads to a flashback, the first in the franchise.

In the flashback, Fisher's real life daughter Billie Lourd plays a young Princess Leia and shows a time where the Inquisitors were being controlled by Darth Vader who will appear. This is essentially a "retroactive continuity adjustment" and also suggests that 'Rebels' will be "much more important than we anticipated".

In the present day scenes of 'Episode VII' , do these Inquisitors have a leader?

 Bad Ass Digest says yes, and that we've already seem a part of him: "There's a main Inquisitor villain (I don't know his name) Want to know what he looks like? He wears a black robe. His eyes are deep red. And half of his face is metal. He's a cyborg. That was his hand in the picture Abrams shared with the note about A Force For Change."

Indie Revolver has posted yet another piece of concept art this time it's an apparent sketch of that partly robotic Sith Inquisitor
"It's true that the main villain of Episode VII is a Sith Inquisitor. He's tall and thin and terrifyingly creepy, with glowing red eyes to match his red lightsaber. He's got some robotic upgrades, like Vader – but no mask. The cybernetic bits weave in and out of him. He's got a human upper lip, a steel jaw… and the robotic hand that JJ Abrams posted an image of."


Scottish actor Ian McDiarmid who played Emperor Palpatine attended the recent London Film and Comic Con and confirmed that he would not return to the "Star Wars" universe in J.J. the  upcoming trilogy--but he didn't rule out a return in a potential spin-off pre-Return of the Jedi:

"I'm definitely not in [Episode VII]. As you know, he's dead by then. I know, we believe in reincarnation, and holograms… But you know, they are going to take many twists on the story as the years go on, and I guess they may go back to a time - I've got no clue, I'm speaking off the top of my head - when the Emperor ran the universe. And I don't want anyone else to play him, do I?"

 James Earl Jones, the man behind the voice of Star Wars villain Darth Vader was asked by Variety recently about the possibility of playing the character in more films, perhaps one of the Spin-Off Films for example set before "Return of the Jedi". He said: "Oh no. I've got no illusions that I will or even hankerings to be in them, but I'm very proud to have been part of the original."

Abrams wrote the script with Lawrence Kasdan for the film. Oscar winner Michael Arndt ("Toy Story 3," "Little Miss Sunshine") vacated his job scripting the next film--after disagreements over which characters the film will focus on.

Kasdan ("The Empire Strikes Back," "Raiders of the Lost Ark") and Simon Kinberg ("Sherlock Holmes," "X-Men: Days of Future Past") have reportedly closed deals to pen the final two installments of the new "Star Wars" trilogy. Kasdan and Kinberg are also indeed writing the stand alone/origin Star Wars features. Company CEO Robert A. Iger recently revealed that the studio has three features in the works - not two as previously indicated.  "Godzilla" reboot director Gareth Edwards is going to direct the first of the upcoming Star Wars Spin-Off Films. "Fantastic Four" reboot and "Chronicle" director Josh Trank is officially set to direct the as yet Untitled Number 2 stand alone spin-off film.

The plan is to have each of these films come out in the years when we don't see a new episode of the saga - They would come out in 2016, 2018 and 2020. We still don't know which characters these spin-offs will focus on. Current franchise chief,
Kathleen Kennedy spoke to Yahoo about the stand-alone films saying that they will NOT affect the main narrative of the Episodes.

Looking ahead "Looper" and "Brick" writer-director Rian Johnson has inked a deal to both pen and call action on "Star Wars: Episode VIII" as well as write a treatment for "Star Wars: Episode IX".

The series MVP composer John Williams is set to score Episode VII, Episode VIII and Episode IX.

Kasdan and Kinberg would also join the projects as producers with Kennedy.

There was 
a scheduled two-week production hiatus in August to allow for adjustments in the shooting schedule following Ford's recovery from that injury where he  broke his left leg

Production is scheduled to take place through September at Pinewood Studio in England. The film has a confirmed release date of December 18, 2015.

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