Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Vanity Fair Reveals Another 'The Force Awakens' Photo & J.J. Abrams Interview Preview

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By: Benjamin Hart

This year's Star Wars day was among the best ever thanks to Vanity Fair! Yesterday the Magazine rocked the Internet by releasing a series of photos from the set of Episode VII: The Force Awakens, taken by legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz. During the reveals, Vanity Fair also promised to send yet another new photo to subscribers of their newsletter. Today they kept their promise, but admitted it didn't turn out as they originally planned. Apparently the photo of Captain Phasma that leaked yesterday was intended to be released in the newsletter today. To make up for the mishap, VF unveiled a new photo of Lupita Nyong'o performing her motion capture character Maz Kanata, as well as our first look at contributing editor Bruce Handy's interview with director J.J. Abrams, featuring questions and answers that were cut from the interview which is set to be released tomorrow on VanityFair.com. You can check out the photo above and the interview below:

Bruce Handy: Your movie is taking place 30-something years after Return of the Jedi. Are you going to give it some of that fill-in-blanks quality, in terms of whatever’s happened in the Star Wars galaxy across those decades?  

J.J. Abrams: Well, what’s cool is we’ve obviously had a lot of time [during the development process] to talk about what’s happened outside of the borders of the story that you’re seeing. So there are, of course, references to things, and some are very oblique so that hopefully the audience can infer what the characters are referring to. We used to have more references to things that we pulled out because they almost felt like they were trying too hard to allude to something. I think that the key is—and whether we’ve accomplished that or not is, of course, up to the audience—but the key is that references be essential so that you don’t reference a lot of things that feel like, oh, we’re laying pipe for, you know, an animated series or further movies. It should feel like things are being referenced for a reason.  

Tell me about what it was like working on the new film both as its writer-director and as a hard-core Star Wars fan going back to your childhood.  

Maybe the weirdest moment, which came months after production, was the first time I sat down with John Williams to show him about a half an hour of the movie. I can’t describe the feeling. All I will say is, just to state the facts of it: I am about to show John Williams 30 minutes of a Star Wars movie that he has not seen [and] that I directed. That’s probably as surreal as it gets in my professional life experience.  

The first three Star Wars movies had a certain knowingness, because of the way the characters are, so archetypal, and the way they reference a lot of film history, like Luke gazing out at the two setting suns the way someone would in a John Ford Western. That was such a part of the whole “movie brat” thing in the 70s, that George Lucas was a part of. Did you fool around with any of those kinds of nods at movie history?  

There are a few specific references that are kind of my own little stupid, secret ones. But what I realized early on was it was all about point of view—meaning it’s not like you just objectively throw in a star field or a spaceship or a desert planet or whatever the thing. The question is, who is that person in that experience? Why does it matter to them? What are they desperate for or afraid of? For me, you could reference all the stuff you want, but the experience of the audience in this is that they’ve got to be sitting with someone who happens to be on-screen going through these experiences. And then that’s not just a desert planet; it could be the most desperate place in the world. Or that’s not just a spaceship flying by; it could be the greatest, most heroic moment of your life. That, to me, has been the constant struggle: to make sure that none of these things are treated like either they’re a museum piece and we’re trying to honor them or they’re gratuitous and thrown in because, well, it’s a Star Wars movie so you’ve got to put these things in. Everything has got to be essential to the characters in the film. 

The June issue of Vanity Fair featuring The Force Awakens cover and all the photos that have been revealed will be available digitally on May 7th and on newsstands on May 12th.

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Star Wars Officially Announced as Part of Disney Infinity 3.0

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By: Dominic Jones

We've been hearing about this for a while, but Game Informer has finally officially confirmed it, Disney Infinity 3.0 will feature Star Wars characters and playsets.  The game will feature characters from all across the saga including The Clone Wars.  According to Game Informer,

"Star Wars fandom is often divided between the two trilogies, and Disney Infinity 3.0 is catering to both audiences. Avalanche returns at the head of development while recruiting other studios to work on specific packs and systems. Ninja Theory’s (Devil May Cry, Heavenly Sword) pack-in playset, Twilight of the Republic, follows Anakin and Ahsoka as they fight to uncover who’s behind a freshly minted droid army. The story is set after Star Wars: Episode II, and it features land and space battles with plenty of melee combat. Obi-Wan, Yoda, and Darth Maul can enter the fray, too, as separately sold figures. Studio Gobo’s (Disney Infinity's Pirates of the Caribbean playset) Rise Against the Empire is a highlight reel of sorts that follows the events of the classic trilogy. Luke and Leia tangle with Darth Vader and his forces through memorable sequences, including the battle of Yavin as well as time on Hoth and Tatooine. Chewbacca, Han Solo, and Darth Vader figures will be available individually. Star Wars characters can cross over between the Star Wars playsets, too, which could lead to some canonically unsound (but fun) scenarios."

Check out the preview of Disney Infinity 3.0: Star Wars below,


This looks very cool and like it will be a lot of fun for kids.  I'm also very pleased to see the game is covering all aspects of the saga, including the prequels, originals, and The Clone Wars, whereas certain other games are not.

UPDATE: StarWars.com has also confirmed that a new playste will be available this winter that will tie in to Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens!


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Monday, May 4, 2015

Rumor: Second Star Wars Anthology Film to Tell Boba Fett's Origin Story

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By: Dominic Jones

One the rumors that just won't die is back again.  The Wrap is reporting that the second Star Wars Anthology film, the film Josh Trank was working on, will tell Boba Fett's origin story.  This goes back to the very first rumors about the Anthology Films (or Stand Alone Films, as they were known up until recently) from February 2013, just four months after the Disney purchase of Lucasfilm.  Disney declined to comment.

According to The Wrap,Simon Kinberg is a key player in this film.  The Wrap writes, 
"Writer-producer Simon Kinberg has been closely involved in the creative process for the second anthology film, which is set in a separate movie universe that is not associated with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” or upcoming Episodes VIII and IX."

Right now, the only thing we really know about this film, other than the fact that Trank has quit the directing job, is that the code name is "Tin Can,"  which could very well be referring to Fett's Helmet (it's kind of can shaped).

I also find it interesting to see that the film is being called an origin story.  I thought we had already seen Fett's origin story during the prequels.  I'm willing to bet that this story will have something to do with Fett acquiring his famous Mandalorian armor or perhaps one of his first missions for either Jabba the Hutt or Darth Vader (or both).

As always, this is just a rumor until confirmed or denied by Lucasfilm or Disney.


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Star Wars Battlefront: Behind the Scenes on the Development of Sullust

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By: Dominic Jones

In celebration of Star Wars Day the team at DICE, who are currently hard at work on the upcoming video game Star Wars: Battlefront which is slated for a November 17th release date, gave fans a behind the scenes look at the development of the look of the planet Sullust.  It was announced back at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim that the game would give fans their first official look at the canon version of the planet Sullust.  An in-depth article detailing the various design steps was posted over at EA's official Star Wars website, here are some highlights.

The team described the orinigal description given to the concept artists,

"When referring to the direction, the concept artist stated, “With black sharp rocks, huge land shifts, red lava, turquoise lakes, and white smoke…everything to make it really colorful yet imposing and threatening.” It took a while to nail down the specifics but once completed, the team presented the design and direction to Lucasfilm. Working in collaboration with the teams at Lucasfilm, it was decided that this visual design would be a perfect look for the planet Sullust, mentioned but not seen in Return of the Jedi."

The crew then used Iceland as a basis to design the planet,

Close to Sweden, Iceland proved to be a unique and ideal location which in multiple areas looked like another planet. Andrew Hamilton, Lead Environment Artist, and members from the team at DICE set out to study and capture the desolate Icelandic environment mentioning, “it’s very barren in a beautiful way. It hints at all the features in our concept and all the content we needed to gather…all the materials, rock shapes and even the lava.” 

When the team returned to Stockholm with reference footage, Petter Skold, Senior Level Artist and Planet Owner of Sullust, set out to bring the planet to life. “We used the source material that we gathered from Iceland to shift and bend to the design detailed in our concepts, which was very fun and difficult process,” said the Senior Level Artist. While difficult, this process has paid off allowing Petter and the rest of the team to create an iconic planet we are very proud of. On the process, Skold stated, “this was different than content captured from locations of Endor, Hoth and Tatooine which could be used right away.”

And finally, we get confirmation that there will be 12 multiplayer maps included in Star Wars: Battlefront,
"Of the 12 multiplayer maps in Star Wars Battlefront (there are even more locations when you include the Star Wars Battlefront Missions), some feel immediately familiar — such as the lush forests of Endor or the tundra of Hoth that allow you to re-live your favorite moments from the films. Some of the maps support our epic modes like Walker Assault, while others are tailored to more intimate, close quarters combat. Our goal is to bring a variety of battle fantasies to life, with map design catering to the modes that will play out on those maps. Above all, we want you to create new memories of your own in new places you've never seen before."

The amount of work and detail that has gone into the development of Battlefront is amazing, and I can't wait to pick up the game this November.


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New Vanity Fair Photo Confirms Captain Phasma (Updated)

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By: Benjamin Hart

This has been one awesome Star Wars day, hasn't it? Thanks to Vanity Fair we have been treated to a ton of new images from the set of Episode VII: The Force Awakens, as well as some confirmations of some new characters and the actors who play them. The latest reveal comes in the form of a page from the upcoming June issue of Vanity Fair brought to us by the folks at Star Wars-Universe. It gives us a full body shot of a Captain Phasma, seen in the second teaser trailer, and confirms the actor under the mask. Check it out below, and of course, SPOILERS for those looking to avoid that sort of thing.

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The text reads:

"THE PHASMA MENACE: First Order officer Captain Phasma(Gwendoline Christie) surveys the rubble following an attack..."

The text goes on to tell about a photo of Lupita Nyong'o performing her motion capture character Maz Kanata, which was revealed earlier today.

Although it has long been believed that Gwendoline Christie was the one wearing the chrome trooper armor, it's awesome to have it officially confirmed. And I have to say, she looks amazing!

Source: Star Wars-Universe

Update: Vanity Fair has officially released the photo on their site, along with a new article. They confirm that, unfortunately, this will be the final portrait released from the amazing collection of photos taken by legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz. They add that even though Phasma is fighting on the side of the new bad guys, the First Order, don't assume she's pure evil.

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Rumor: 'The Force Awakens' Interrogation Scene Description

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By: Dominic Jones

Amidst the bevy of official news about Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens there is still room for rumors, and we have got a fascinating one today.  Our friends over at MakingStarWars.net dropped this rumor describing what we can only assume is a pivotal moment in the film for two of the main characters, complete with a chilling line of dialogue.  As usual, there is a chance that this could turn out to be false, but if you trying to avoid all The Force Awakens spoilers then stop reading now!  This is your SPOILER ALERT!  And if you do choose to read, be very careful to ensure that you don't share this story with people who don't want to be spoiled.
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This rumor sheds some more light and offers more details about various rumors we have heard up to this point, as well as giving us some new information.  And for those of you who are new to the rumors, or simply forgotten, "Uber" is Andy Serkis, "The General" is Domhnall Gleeson, Korr Sella is Maise Richardson-Sellers, Captain Phasma is Gwendoline Christie, and "Rose" is the code name for Lupita Nyong'o's character Maz Kanata.  According to Jason over at MSW,
If you recall, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Rey, Finn, and BB-8 head for the green planet (that everyone that sees it thinks is Yavin IV). Rey is overcome by the beauty of this green world after having resided on the desolate Jakku for a very long time. Rey does not have a beautiful time on the green world though.

After they meet “Rose” in a pub, they head to the underground of the pub. I believe Korr Sella, an emissary for Leia, is also at the pub to speak to “Rose,” probably about what Poe Dameron encountered on Jakku. However, “Rose” is already in the catacombs below the pub inducing a vision of the past for the band of heroes. “Rose” believes she knows why the lightsaber everyone is after came to Rey but Rey doesn’t want it and she runs from the pub.

Above the green planet, “Uber” is in communication with Kylo Ren and the “The General.” “Uber” orders “The Catapult” weapon to be used against Han Solo, Rose, and the rest of the heroes. Kylo is apprehensive and “Uber” orders him not to “be so sentimental.” Down on the surface, Rey looks back to see a scene of destruction unfold before her.  The weapon is fired, killing Kor Sella, taking out a “castle,” “the tunnel of love,” and the pub.

The Resistance witnesses Kor Sella’s death and springs into action. This is where we believe we will see Admiral Ackbar, very old, in a new, slightly green outfit. He is part of Leia’s “staff.” Note: Tim Rose canceled convention appearances around this time which may mean he’s back on Ackbar puppetry.

INTERIOR DAY RESISTANCE BASE – MAP ROOM Leia and staff react to Tunnel of Love unhappy ending

Thankfully the heroes are in the catacombs below the pub and survive the assault after suffering through some shaking and rumbling. They head through tunnels where they meet some Stormtrooper resistance and “Rose” uses her “special powers” to dispatch them. I assume this means she uses the Force to slam them against a wall or something unless she Jedi Mind Tricks them.

When the heroes get outside of the tunnels, things looks really dire for them. But a “black tie makes all the difference.” We believe this is when Poe Dameron returns, either with a fixed TIE he crashed back on Jakku or in the black X-wing without an explanation as far as we know. The point is, it seems Poe returns to save the day using his piloting skills.

Rey saw the First Order invade the green planet and also witnessed the destruction of the buildings by the super weapon.  She’s spotted by First Order forces very quickly. Kylo Ren and his troops (who are on their way to survey the damage from the weapon) pursue Rey and capture her. Finn witnesses the capture from afar but can’t save her. BB-8 hides and evades capture too and the heroes meet up with Leia, the droids, and head for the Resistance base without Rey. (So if you’re wondering, Rey doesn’t meet Leia at this point in the film.)

Rey is then taken to the First Order Castle on the snow planet and imprisoned. Rey is escorted to her interrogation by Captain Phasma. We have reason to believe Kylo might not be in his armor for this sequence. (For some scenes, Kylo doesn’t wear his armor but instead wears the same black uniform “The General” wears with his hair slicked back, a little long, just above the shoulders).

Kylo uses his “powers” during his interrogation of Rey. Rey reverses this “probe” from Kylo as she’s mentally stronger than him or just more powerful in the Force. She then tells him:

You’ll never be as powerful as Darth Vader.” 

She apparently has learned something about Kylo instead of Kylo learning something about her during this metaphysical connection they have formed.  But it isn’t a total win for Rey as Kylo does figure out he doesn’t need the lightsaber to carry out his goals and there is another way. (Note: the season premiere of Star Wars Rebels has a sequence that I believe is reminiscent of this between Ahsoka and Darth Vader.) Kylo then leaves to report to “Uber” about Rey and BB-8.

INTERIOR DAY FIRST ORDER CASTLE – DUNGEON Kylo Ren Tries to learn all he can from Kira. She turns the tables.

INTERIOR DAY FIRST ORDER CASTLE – CORRIDOR #1 Kylo Ren pauses outside the dungeon, flustered.


Shortly after this, Rey uses her “powers” to trick her Stormtrooper guards into leaving her unattended. We then see Rey escape via the ventilation system of the First Order Castle. She meets up with Finn, Han, and Chewbacca after they crash in the woods. She is touched the crew came back for her. I’m not sure if this is a comedic coincidence and Finn accepts credit for going back for her when it was just a coincidence or if she was part of the plan for Han Solo the whole time.

As the assault on the castle moves forward we are treated to a space and atmospheric battle that ends up relying on some good old fashioned explosives by Han and Chewbacca.

This sounds like it will be an intense scene.  We get more implications that Kylo Ren has some kind of connection to our heroes, whether its Han Solo or Rey or both.  I love the idea of this "Uber" telling him not to get sentimental, suggesting that there is still some level of conflict within him.  The confrontation between Rey and Kylo sounds like it will be an intense sequence.  Perhaps the two are unaware of any connections they might have (be they siblings, cousins, etc.) and the line, "You’ll never be as powerful as Darth Vader" is chilling.  
As always this is just a rumor until confirmed or denied by Lucasfilm or Disney.
 
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New 'The Force Awkens' Character Details and Images in Vanity Fair

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By: Dominic Jones


Vanity Fair has been dominating the Star Wars headlines for the past 24 hours, and with good reason!  In addition to the phenomenal cover featuring the stars of Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens and a great behind the scenes video, the magazine has now given us our some new details about Lupita Nyong'o's character, who we now know is named Maz Kanata.  Maz Kanata is a motion capture character, meaning that Nyong'o will not actually appear on screen rather her motions, voice, and mannerisms are being used to create this new character.  We also learned that Maz Kanata is a pirate and hangs out with a large "Rogue's Gallery" of other aliens.  You can see these characters (but not Maz Kanata as far as I can tell) in the image below,

The magazine also had photographs by the legendary Annie Lebowitz of Adam Driver as a helmetless Kylo Ren, Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron hanging off the side of his X-Wing, Daisy Ridley as Rey on her speeder, and behind the scenes shots of Lupita Nyong'o performing her motion capture work, and of the legendary talent (l-r John Williams, Lawrence Kasdan, Kathleen Kennedy, and JJ Abrams).  Check those out below,


It's really great to see all these new images and get these new details!  It's a great May the 4th gift!

Source: Vanity Fair

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Behind the Scenes Video for 'The Force Awakens' Vanity Fair Cover Confirms Cast Rumors

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By: Dominic Jones

By now everyone has seen the amazing cover for the next issue of Vanity Fair featuring the stars of Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Harrison Ford, and Chewbacca.  In addition to the cover, the magazine will feature an article on the new film and more pictures by famed photographer  Annie Lebowitz.  A preview of the article was recently posted on Vanity Fair's website, along with a behind the scenes video about Lebowitz photographing the sets and characters of the new film.  The video features short interview clips from Ridley as well as director JJ Abrams and Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy.   In addition, the video confirms two rumors that have been circulating for months now.  Check it out below,


The first revelation isn't much of a revelation as most fans had assumed this ever since we saw the first trailer, Adam Driver is playing Kylo Ren.  The second reveal confirms a story first reported by us here at The SWU that Lupita Nyong'o is playing a motion capture character (that's her seated in front of a camera wearing a grey suit with tonnes of little white dots on it).  

The issue of Vanity Fair is available digitally on May 7th and on newsstands on May 12th, and promises to also have a first look at the character played by Gwendoline Christie.

 
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Sunday, May 3, 2015

'The Force Awakens' Vanity Fair Cover Revealed

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By Chris Seekell

Today, pop culture magazine Vanity Fair released a preview image of their upcoming June issue cover, which features a shot of The Force Awakens characters Rey, Finn, BB-8, Han, and Chewie. The issue will hit newstands this week, along with special exclusive content about The Force Awakens on Vanity Fair's website. You can see the previewed cover below!


The photo on the cover was shot by iconic portraiture artist Annie Leibovitz, who also shot similar Star Wars "family portraits" for the prequel films last decade. It's fantastic seeing Star Wars return to the forefront of popular culture! I can't wait to pick up my copy!

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BREAKING: 'The Force Awakens' Merchandise to be Released on 'Force Friday,' September 4

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By: Dominic Jones

The next generation of Star Wars toys have a release date.  StarWars.com announced today that all the merchandise for Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens will hit shelves on what is know know as "Force Friday," September 4, 2015.  As part of the celebrations, stores around the world will open their doors at 12:01am so that fans can be the first to pick up the new merchandise.  Fans are encouraged to use the hashtags #ForceFriday and #MidnightMadness in advance of the event. 

“Every lightsaber, every action figure, every LEGO set tells a story for generations of Star Wars fans, and this global event is a celebration of those stories. We’re excited to be part of the countdown to this enormous movie moment,” Josh Silverman, executive vice president, global licensing, Disney Consumer Products, told StarWars.com.

StarWars.com also unveiled the packaging for all The Force Awakens product, which features the villainous Kylo Ren.  Check it out below,

Source: StarWars.com

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In Case You Missed It: April 10th - May 2nd, 2015

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By: Benjamin Hart

After an extended hiatus(sorry!), In Case You Missed It is back! Being that we missed a few weeks, we've got a ton of news to cover this time. We've got everything from Celebration, to The Force Awakens trailer to The Clone Wars, to Rogue One and Rebels season two. Plus, tons of books, comics, Battlefront, rumors, Disney Infinity, X-Men, UGG and much more! Read on to get caught up....


Celebration Anaheim

Celebration Anaheim: 'The Force Awakens' Page of the Convention Program

Celebration Report: Inside the 'The Force Awakens' Exhibit

Video: 'The Force Awakens' Cast & Crew Interviews At Celebration Anaheim

Mark Hamill Discusses 'The Force Awakens' At Celebration Anaheim

Daisy Ridley & John Boyega Explored Star Wars Celebration In Disguise

Mark Hamill Extended Interview From Celebration Anaheim

Recap Of 'The Untold Clone Wars' Panel At Celebration Anaheim

Watch: 'The Clone Wars' Panels From Celebration Anaheim

'Smuggler's Bounty' Cast Revealed

Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016 in London Announced!

Report From Star Wars Night at the Anaheim Angels


Films

Second 'The Force Awakens' Teaser Released

Second 'The Force Awakens' Trailer Gains 88M Views In First 24 Hours

'The Force Awakens' Posters Revealed

Kathleen Kennedy Gives an Update on 'The Force Awakens' Production

Oscar Isaac Talks Poe Dameron, New Trailer, BB-8, and More

Daisy Ridley Talks 'The Force Awakens' With EW

Oscar Isaac Reveals Advice Harrison Ford Gave Him On 'The Force Awakens' Set

Video: 'Force for Change: Meet DC Barns'

More Ralph McQuarrie Influence Discovered In 'The Force Awakens'

'The Force Awakens' Poster Spotted at US Movie Theater

'The Force Awakens' Press Conference to be Held April 30th in Tokyo

Video Highlights From Kathleen Kennedy and Daisy Ridley's 'The Force Awakens' Press Conference

Report: AMC to Host Star Wars Marathon to lead into 'The Force Awakens'

Images of 'The Force Awakens' Merchandise

'Rogue One' Official Description and More Revealed!

Felicity Jones Shares What Color Lightsaber She Would Like

Report: Steve Yedlin Hired as Episode VIII Cinematographer

Josh Trank Leaves Second Star Wars Anthology Film



Television

'Star Wars: Rebels' Season Two Trailer

Star Wars Rebels: Season Two To Premiere June 20th

Star Wars Rebels: Season One Streaming For Free On StarWars.com Until May 4th

'The Clone Wars Legacy: Bad Batch Arc' Story Reels Released!

'The Clone Wars' Star Jim Cummings to Attend 80s Toy Expo 2015


Literature

The Force Awakens' Novelization Author Revealed, 'Battlefront' Novel Titled 'Twilight Company'

Short Story Authors for 'Rise of the Empire' Bind-Up Revealed

New 'Lando' Comic Series Coming in July from Marvel

Marvel Comics News From Star Wars Celebration Anaheim


'Kanan - The Last Padawan #2' Comic Preview


Gaming

Star Wars Battlefront Gameplay Trailer Released

Star Wars Battlefront Will Not Feature Prequel Content or Space Battles

DICE GM Discusses Battlefront's Canon Status

Report: Disney Infinity 3.0: Star Wars Revealed


Collecting

Hallmark Will Have Two 'The Force Awakens' Ornaments This Year

Hasbro Will Have a Star Wars Exclusive at SDCC


UGG Announces Star Wars Line to Launch on May the 4th


Fandom

Star Wars Fans Send X-Wing Model into Space


Pop Culture

'X-Men: Apocalypse' Set Photo Reveals Star Wars Reference


Rumors

Millennium Falcon Action Sequence Description

Complete List of Characters from 'The Force Awakens'

Report: Early Kylo Ren Concept Art Revealed

Riz Ahmed & Sam Claflin Being Considered For Roles In 'Rogue One'

Code Name For Josh Trank's Anthology Film Revealed

Second Anthology Film Delayed Until 2019


Also Check Out...

The SWU Podcast LIVE From Celebration Anaheim

Celebration Anaheim: The SWU Podcast VIDEO

The SWU Podcast LIVE | 24/04/15

The SWU Podcast LIVE | 01/05/15

Book Review: 'Lords of the Sith'



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Saturday, May 2, 2015

Rumor: Second Anthology Film Delayed Until 2019

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By: Benjamin Hart

It seems the departure of Josh Trank as the director of the second Anthology film may have an effect on Disney and Lucasfilm's release schedule for future Star Wars films. The news came out yesterday that Trank, who directed Chronicle and currently in production Fantastic Four reboot, would be exiting the franchise due to unknown circumstances. Variety released their own report on the revelation, and added an interesting piece of information:

"The untitled “Star Wars” movie won’t be released until 2019, according to sources."

Disney and Lucasfilm officials stated several times that the plan for future Star Wars feature films is to release one per year, alternating between the numbered chapters of the Saga and stand alone Anthology films. Currently the only movies with confirmed release dates are Episode VII: The Force Awakens(December 18th, 2015), Rogue One(December 16th, 2016) and Episode VIII(May 26th, 2017). The second Anthology film was expected to follow this pattern with a release in 2018. If this film is being pushed back a year, it could have major repercussions on the rest of the schedule. Will there simply be a one year break with no Star Wars film? Could both the second Anthology film and Episode VIII be released in 2019? Or could Episode VIII somehow be pushed up to be released in 2018 as a replacement? Time will tell. Nevertheless, Lucasfilm/Disney have a dilemma on their hands if this is true.

Source: Variety
Via: Furious Fanboys

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Report: Early Kylo Ren Concept Art Revealed

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By: Benjamin Hart

After enjoying Star Wars as it is, it's always fascinating to look behind the scenes and see what could have been through concept art. Well, for The Force Awakens we might be getting a taste of that much sooner than normal. Indie Revolver, who were the first to reveal the new First Order Stormtroopers, among other things, have released a new, unseen piece of concept art from the film. They claim that it is an early design for Kylo Ren by concept artist Glyn Dillon, who ultimately designed Kylo's final helmet. It features a round, red and black mask and a single Lightsaber blade, as opposed to his now iconic tri-saber. You can check it out below:


Interestingly, they add that the circular face seen here was well liked among crew members, so much so that the design was applied to another group, which IR speculates are either Bounty Hunters or Tusken Raider-like Jakku scavengers. They also point out Kylo's Lightsaber hilt in the art, which actually corresponds with some earlier leaked concept art of a Lightsaber that was referred to as the "Wampa Saber", due to the Wampa claw embedded in it's pommel.


Of course, none of the info or photos here are confirmed by Lucasfilm, so we must take it all with a grain of salt. But given Indie Revolver's track record, I would say they are a trustworthy source. Nevertheless, it's amazing to get a deeper look in the production of this film well before we even see it. Speaking of which, December 18th can't come soon enough!

Source: Indie Revolver

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Report: Steve Yedlin Hired as Episode VIII Cinematographer

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By: Dominic Jones

Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens isn't even out yet and the team on the Rian Johnson directed sequel, Star Wars Episode VIII, is already being assembled.  Variety is reporting that Steve Yedlin, who has previously worked with Johnson on Looper (2012) and The Brother Bloom (2008), will be the cinematographer on the new film.  Yedlin's other credits include the 2013 remake of Carrie.

Star Wars Episode VIII is slated for a May 26, 2017 release.

 
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Short Story Authors for 'Rise of the Empire' Bind-Up Revealed

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By: Dominic Jones

Back at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim, Del Rey announced that the novels Star Wars: Tarkin by: James Luceno and Star Wars: A New Dawn by: John Jackson Miller would be re-released together as a special bind-up, along with three other short stories, titled Star Wars: Rise of the EmpireLucasfilm has unveiled the authors of those three short stories.  They are, Melissa Scott, John Jackson Miller, and Jason Fry.  Melissa Scott is the only newcomer to the Star Wars galaxy, with both Fry and Miller having been involved in countless books and comics before, and she brings with her an impressive pedigree which includes a PhD in comparative history, the 1986 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and over thirty published novels.

Little is known about these short stories, though it was revealed at Celebration that one of them will tie-in to Chuck Wendig's upcoming novel Star Wars: Aftermath, which is set immediately following Return of the Jedi.  The cover for the bind was also revealed, check it out below,


The Bind up is slated for a October 6th, 2015 release.

Source: StarWars.com

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