What’s Going on in That Galaxy Far, Far Away…

Star Wars Rogue One Update

The big Star Wars news right now is that the first anthology film is in the last stages of post production, in preparation for it’s December release.

Yes, there were reshoots.  Yep, people got a bit angsty about them.  Yes, they’ve been completed without issue… and yes, you bet the movie is still going ahead and will be released mid-December as has been planned all along.

Am I sure?

As sure as I can be, and to prove that everything is okay, Disney is releasing a new three minute long trailer for Rogue One in less than a week.  The trailer will air in the United States on the 15th of July during a special documentary called Secrets of the Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey that will be showing on a number of channels.

As a fan based outside of the US, that kinda sucks… but, do not fear, dear fellow international fans, there will no doubt be a simultaneous (or soon after) release of the trailer on YouTube.

It’s a safe bet that pretty much every Star Wars fan will be counting down the days to the new preview.

To read more, visit the Star Wars Underworld here.

In other news from our favourite galaxy far, far away, John Boyega and Anthony Daniels recently finished filming on Star Wars: Episode VIII.

Both actors confirmed that it was a wrap for them via social media, with John letting his fans know via Instagram and Anthony letting his know via Twitter.

According to Mark Hamill, filming on the whole film will wrap on the 22nd of this month (July 2016).

Rian Johnson, the Director of Episode VIII, has also hinted principal photography is due to end soon – though hasn’t given a date just yet.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with film terminology, the completion of principal photography doesn’t mean that the entire film has been completed.  Second unit photography will probably continue for a while, and of course the next 17 or so months will be spent on scoring the film, doing it’s special effects, organising sound effects, doing any reshoots that might be required, and all the other hundreds of things that need to happen before a film can hit the cinemas.

Star Wars: Episode VIII is scheduled to be released on the 15th of December 2017, and stars Mark Hamil as Luke Skywalker, Carrie Fisher as Leia Organa, Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca, Daisy Ridley as Rey, John Boyega as Finn, Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, and Adam Driver as Kylo Ren (Ben Organa-Solo).

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Episode VIII and Rogue One Update

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There’s been a little angst around the recent reshoots that took place for the first of the Star Wars Anthology films, Rogue One.

Some outlets reported that Disney was not happy with the tone of the movie, and didn’t feel that it “fit” with the original trilogy (or even the prequel trilogy), and they were apparently concerned it could cause a backlash from fans.

Other rumours insisted a test audience had reacted poorly – except it was later discovered the film hadn’t been seen by a test audience.  It had only been viewed by the executives at the Mouse House.

All that we really know for sure is that reshoots did indeed happen, but no one seems clear on why – other than the usual reasons for reshoots, which are to tighten up scenes that weren’t working, or to fix something that wasn’t spotted during principal or second unit photography.

If you’d like to dive into those rumours, the two best sources for a wrap up on all the drama are Making Star Wars and the Star Wars Underworld.  For the MSW stories, click here and here.  For the SWU story, click here.  They’re a good read.

One of the benefits of having been in the entertainment industry for two decades, is knowing that reshoots are not a bad thing.  Yes, sometimes they’re done because a film has lost its way, but more often than not they’re done because a mistake was missed during principal or second unit photography, or because something needs to be fixed that didn’t play right when seen in the context of the whole film.  What looks good on the page, doesn’t always translate to the screen.  Reshoots are so common that production companies budget for them in the months before principal photography begins.  They’re run of the mill, and don’t necessarily mean anything is wrong.

I don’t think the fan community need worry too much!

In Episode VIII news, the latest rumour out is that fan favourite, General Leia Organa, gets to use the Force in the film, and in fact, it’s her ability with that energy field that binds the galaxy together, that saves her life.

To read more on this, visit the article at Making Star Wars here.

Finally, there have been a few people questioning whether or not John Williams, the legendary composer, will return to score Episode VIII.  He is, after all, 84 and might actually want to retire.

For a lot of fans this has caused concern, because many of us can’t imagine Star Wars without John’s incredible score accompanying the amazing visuals and story.

John himself recently announced that he would be scoring Episode VIII, if Disney and Lucasfilm would have him.

To read more from John on whether or not he’ll have a part to play in any future Star Wars films, visit the Star Wars Underworld here.

As more news comes to light on the Anthology films and sequel trilogy, we’ll feature it.

In the meantime, be sure to visit the Star Wars Underworld and Making Star Wars to stay up to date on everything!

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John Boyega on Episode VIII

John Boyega and Star Wars EVIII Update

The beautiful and frustrating thing about a Star Wars film is that we rarely know what to expect, but we all like to guess – and we all like to be titillated by the stars and other creative people involved in the films.

The incredibly charming and insightful John Boyega whose character, Fin (FN-2187), was one of the breakout fan favourites in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, recently spoke about the next instalment in the saga to Variety and Vulture while at the Cannes Film Festival in France.

A question a lot of the media and a good many fans often ask is “will Episode VIII be darker?”  Some of us who love pop culture seem to have a worrying preoccupation with how dark, nasty, and downright depressing a movie or television series needs to be.

Which is confusing, because we constantly move the goal posts and shoot off mixed messages.  Media pundits often wonder if “The Walking Dead has gone too far?” and “become too dark?” while at the same time deriding Fear the Walking Dead for not being dark enough.  Man of Steel was criticised for being too dark but so many people seemed to want it to follow in the footsteps of The Dark Knight, which was, funnily enough, pretty dark.  At the same time, people can’t get enough of the sadistic dysfunction of a bunch of people fighting over a steel seat in Game of Thrones.  Damien, the series that follows in the footsteps of The Omen apparently isn’t gory enough, but American Horror Story apparently went too far.

Either media critics have a serious personality disorder, and the public really doesn’t know what it wants, or writers, actors, directors and producers everywhere just need to give us all the middle finger and make what they want to make because it’s obvious we don’t have a clue what we want.

Personally, I hope Rian Johnson doesn’t give a crap and isn’t listening to the contradictory and often fickle arguments.  I hope he just gives us a mind-blowing movie that’s true to him as an artist, and true to the saga of a family caught up in the events of a galaxy far, far away.

Historically, Star Wars has become a film about family.  An extraordinary family, but a family never the less.  To date, the films have always taken us on a journey with each trilogy, one that focuses on the Skywalkers, and that journey has always been a mix of tragedy and joy, light and dark.

In the original trilogy, each movie had it’s dark aspects – Episode IV had the merciless destruction of an entire planet, the torture of a Princess, the slaughter of one of our heroes’ only known family, and the death of a revered Jedi Knight.  Episode V had the betrayal by a supposed friend, the capture and entombment in carbonite of one of our heroes, and another of our heroes lost his hand after being told he was the son of one of the most evil men in the galaxy.  Episode VI saw our only heroine enslaved by a giant slug, the suggestion one of our heroes might have to kill his father to banish the dark side from the galaxy, the slaughter of hundreds of cuddly little bear creatures, and the sort of suicide of the saga’s main villain.

Episode I saw a young Queen lose her throne to a greedy corporate collective, explored the issue of slavery, saw a mother lose her son to the Jedi, and the death of one of the film’s heroes.  Episode II saw the attempted assignation of a politician, the revelation someone somewhere had grown a clone army, the death of our young hero’s mother, the capture and attempted execution of all our heroes, and the secret wedding of a Jedi and a Senator.  Episode III was perhaps the darkest Star Wars film of them all, with our hero surrendering to his fears and sliding into the arms of the dark side which leads him to slaughter children and eventually kill the love of his life.

And people think Empire is dark.

I think a lot of fans, when they call Episode V dark, mean that it’s atmospheric.  When you look at V verses every other Star Wars film, it’s definitely not the darkest.  It does end on a cliffhanger, and tonally it is the most emotional – thanks to the spectacular performances of Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford during the scene where Han is frozen, and Mark Hamill’s brilliant and heart-breaking performance when Darth Vader delivers his saga defining news, but it’s not the bleakest of all the films by a long shot.

John, in answering the question about how dark VIII will be, pretty much says that any level of ‘darkness’ will come down to the individual perspectives of the viewer.  He does, however, say it will be darker than VII… which worries me!  Hello?  Han, anyone?

In both interviews, John talks about the joys of working with Rian Johnson, his new co-stars, the possibility of a romance with Rey, and how Episode VIII is BIG and will blow us all away.

To check out the interviews, visit my two favourite Star Wars fansites, Making Star Wars and Star Wars Underworld here and here.

Star Wars: Episode VIII is set to be released in cinemas around the world on the 15th of December next year.

The movie has been written, and is also being directed, by Rian Johnson, and stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisey Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Andy Serkis, Benicio del Toro, Laura Dern and Kelly Marie Tran.

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Star Wars News Roundup

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With Star Wars Episode VIII in production, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story amping up for release, there is a lot of focus on the world’s most beloved space saga.

Some of that focus came from the British Royal Family, with the future King of England and his brother visiting the set of Episode VIII.

Prince William the Duke of Cambridge, and Prince Henry (more commonly known as Prince Harry) the Prince of Wales, were photographed playing with lightsabres, hugging Chewbacca and generally having an amazing time on the set of the major motion picture.

Unfortunately, that galaxy far, far away’s very own royal, Princess Leia Organa, wasn’t on hand to greet the princes, but her brother, Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, played by Mark Hamill, was.

The Princes, apparently, did more than visit the set.  Rumour (we stress this word… RUMOUR) has it they have a special cameo role in the film as Stormtroopers who are on hand when Rey and Fin allegedly infiltrate a First Order base.

For more information on Henry and Williams’ visit, click here to read the Vanity Fair article.

In other Star Wars news, there’s an unusual rumour floating around the internet that tries to explain why Luke is still single and alone decades after playing his part in defeating the Empire.

Apparently, some fans believe Luke is gay, and Mark Hamill has no issue with that if that’s how it turns out.

Luke EVIII

To read more about this intriguing possible twist, click here to check out the CinemaBlend article.

Lastly, the crew of Episode VIII have arrived in Ireland to film more scenes in this second installment of the third trilogy.

We don’t know what scenes are being filmed, or which actors are on hand, but it’s probably safe to assume this is another leg in Luke and Rey’s journey and that both Mark and Daisey will be enjoying the incredible vistas of that beautiful island.

To read more, visit The Star Wars Underworld here.

I should probably mention before I go that there is a post on Reddit that claims to spoil the majority of the film.  I have read it, and if the poster really has gotten a hold of a copy of the script (which is very unlikely), I wish I hadn’t!  It all sounds fantastic, and a lot of it lines up with things we’ve heard from the production so far, but it does list off what could be the major beats of the film.

Which I don’t want to know!

In the event it is a genuine leak I’m not going to include a link here.  If that post on Reddit is a real list of the major story points for Episode VIII, I’m not going to risk spoiling the film for everyone.  I love spoilers, but only so far as they whet my appetite for what’s to come.  I don’t want an entire film ruined for me, particularly one I’m looking forward to more than any other release due out in the next two years.

If you want to read the post, you’ll have to rely on Google.

That’s it for now.

As more news comes to light, I’ll post it here.

May the Force be with you!

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

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Disney have fulfilled their promise to fans, and have kept the first Star Wars anthology film on track for a December 2016 premiere – which is quite a feat considering the fact they’re coming off the back off the massive endeavour that was The Force Awakens, and are in production on Episode VIII!

The first official trailer for the new Star Wars feature was released this week – and it blew people away!

It’s quite seriously one minute and fifty-seven seconds of amazing.  It’s so very Star Wars, while at the exact same time feeling new and fresh.

To watch the preview, visit the official Star Wars site’s YouTube page here.  I’d love to know what you think of it.

One of the biggest surprises in the preview was the unexpected return of a long time fan favourite – Mon Mothma, the leader of the Rebel Alliance.

Mon Mothma first appeared on screen in 1983 in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, and then again in the prequel films – although her scenes were cut and are only available in the special features sections.

The character also played a prominent role in the Expanded Universe novels, playing a major part in the formation of the New Republic after the defeat of the Empire at the Battle of Endor.

The same actor to play Mon Mothma in the prequel trilogy has returned in Rogue One – Genevieve O’Reilly.  For those who saw the prequel special features, Genevieve’s similarity to the first actor to play Mon Mothma, Caroline Blakiston, is remarkable.

Genevieve is the perfect choice to reprise the role of the Alliance leader, and it was wonderful to see her in this preview.  I hope she is featured throughout the new anthology film.

This movie looks like it’s going to be exceptional.  I’ve been excited for it, but no where near as excited as I am for Episode VIII – until now, and I’ll admit my excitement has ramped up because of the inclusion of Mon Mothma.

The leader of the Alliance has long fascinated fans of Star Wars.  Like Leia, she is a former Imperial Senator, who worked from within the Empire to destabilise it.  Alongside Leia’s adopted father, Viceroy Bail Organa, and Leia and Luke’s mother, Senator Padme Amidala, she was one of the first to distrust Chancellor Palpatine and sense that something was wrong with the Republic under his rule.

Without using Luke, Leia, Han and Chewbacca, the anthology series needs a link to the seven current major saga films, and those links should be via much loved characters who have never received much time on screen.  The anthology series was originally promoted as an opportunity to explore characters we had seen but never learned a great deal about, and as an opportunity to go to places we had heard of but never seen.  Rogue One promises to do that.  Of course, we do have an upcoming young Han Solo film (which I think is a bit of a mistake) and though Han is far from a character who has had barely any screen time, we will no doubt visit places we’ve never seen through Han’s adventures pre-A New Hope.

Check out the preview for the first anthology film, and start counting down the days until the release of this next story from that wondrous galaxy far, far away.

It’s looks truly special and definitely worthy of a place in that fictional galaxy that has come to mean so much to so many of us.

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Episode VIII Update – Luke, Leia, Poe and More

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We’re 626 days away from the release of Star Wars: Episode VIII, and trickles of information continue to escape the production as fans obsess over details both minor and potentially major.

There are so many little pieces of information coming out, that it’s actually a bit exhausting keeping up with it all.  It’s not all that often that I find something I want to take the time to post about, because at the moment we’re getting a lot of disjointed minutia.

I am, however, invested in the story and the characters and when I come across interesting pieces on those aspects of the new film, I’m more than willing to find the time to sit down and write about it.

Some people could consider the following to be spoilers, so proceed with caution.  They deal with the characters of Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, Poe Dameron, Laura Dern’s as yet unnamed character… and Han Solo!

Spoiler Alert

As reported earlier this month, there are a series of scenes between Poe Dameron and Laura Dern’s character in the upcoming feature film.

In those scenes, it looks like Poe leads a mutiny against Laura’s character.

A few more details have come out giving further insight into those scenes which were originally reported on by Latino Review.

The extra information comes from the wonderful MakingStarWars website.

Laura Dern Leia Organa Poe Dameron

Laura’s character is a leader in the Resistance.  That part of the first report was a bit vague, with there being an opinion she might have been a leader in the New Republic.

Leia’s vessel is ambushed and she is blasted ‘through space’ – which sounds like the vessel she is in is severely damaged during the fight, venting atmosphere and people into deep space!

Leia lives, but ends up in a coma.

Laura’s character takes command of the Resistance while Leia is in medical care.  She kinda screws things up and Poe is not happy.

Poe takes charge and becomes the defacto leader of the Resistance.

To read more on these scenes, visit MakingStarWars here.  The breakdown of the scenes is after a piece on some changes that have been made to Poe’s costume for Episode VIII.

Luke Skywalker Episode VII

The amazing MakingStarWars has delivered some more insight into the upcoming movie via a brief description of a scene that involves Luke.

The scene takes place in what looks like it’s a casino and Luke is walking through it, hunting for someone.  The casino scene is said to be full of aliens, and harkens back to the original cantina scene in Star Wars: A New Hope, and the death sticks scene from Star Wars: Attack of the Clones where Obi-Wan and Anakin are trying to find the bounty hunter Zam Wesell in a bar after an assasignation attempt on Senator Amidala.

Not much else is known about that scene, but some internet commentators have wondered if Luke is looking for Lando Calrissian – which would be amazing.  One of the very few things I didn’t like about Episode VII was the lack of Lando.

To read the article, click here.

Han SWTFA

Harrison Ford is toying with all of our emotions.

In a recent interview with the BBC, Harrison made a comment when asked if Han could return, that set the internet alight: “Anything is possible in space. I wanted Han Solo to sacrifice himself for the good of the other characters to bring some gravitas to the story.

That comment, combined with a recent casting call for Episode VIII that included Harrison’s name on it, has the rumour mill bubbling.

Could Han Solo still be alive?  I hope so – but I doubt it.  I can’t see Lucasfilm and Disney doing that.

Han’s death made sense in Episode VII and it carried such immense emotional weight – plus, Leia felt it in the force.  Yes, she could have sensed a terrible wound, but I can’t see anyone screwing with us fans that mercilessly.

But, as Harrison says, “Anything is possible in space.

To read the article, click here.

That’s it for now!

As more information on the story and characters for Star Wars: Episode VIII comes out, I’ll post it here.

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Episode VIII Update – Laura Dern

Star Wars Episode VIII Update

Latino Review have reported that one of their sources has come across information on a few scenes from Episode VIII, straight from the Pinewood studio sets where some of the action for the new Star Wars movie is being filmed.

The source talks about a couple of scenes that appear to take place on a Republic or Resistance starship between Poe and Laura’s as yet unnamed character.

It appears Laura’s character has some sort of rank on Poe, and that things get a little heated between them.

Laura’s character allegedly describes the people on the ship as being the last of the Republic or the Resistance (that bit is unclear), and announces that General Leia Organa has been gravely wounded but is in the care of doctors.

Poe, who we can tell from the movie and from the novelisation, is devoutly loyal to the former Alderaanian Princess, doesn’t take whatever it is Laura Dern’s character is saying very well.  In fact, he takes it so badly it looks like he leads a mutiny.

These tiny pieces of information are intriguing, and seem to point to a battle that has some very dire consequences for either the Resistance, or what is left of the Republic after the destruction of the Hosnian System in the seventh film.

This report from Latino Times is one of the more concrete bits of information we’ve received on the eighth movie, since the teaser that was released by Rian Johnson a few weeks ago.

A number of Star Wars fans sites have been talking a great deal about some location shooting happening in Dubrovnik, but we haven’t had much real information on the content of Episode VIII until now.

Of course, this doesn’t really tell us a lot, but it does give us a taste of what’s to come.

If the third trilogy follows the dramatic pacing of the original trilogy, we can expect everyone we love to be in some sort of serious jeopardy, just as they were at the end of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.  If Leia is gravely wounded, it makes you wonder what is going to happen to poor Luke and Rey!

To read the Latino Review article, click here.  If you’re interested in reading about what has been happening in Croatia, visit Making Star Wars here and Star Wars Underworld here.

For the record, Latino Review have one of the most impressive records around for getting a hold of legit information on movies in production.

While very few people can say for certain how legitimate this information is, it comes from one of the more renowned sites on the Internet.

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Episode VIII Update – Daisy Ridley, Leia and Chewbacca

Rian Johnson and Star Wars

Star Wars: Episode VIII is well into production, with many Star Wars fan sites reporting on the various tid bits of information that are slipping out of the production.

For more information on these bits and pieces, you can visit either of these two major (and pretty awesome) Star Wars fan sites, Making Star Wars here and The Star Wars Underworld here.

Of more interest, to me at least, have been a couple of reports that have centred around the wonderfully talented Daisy Ridley.

It was inevitable that someone would eventually ask Daisy or one of the other young stars of Episode VIII, to compare Rian Johnson with J.J. Abrams.  Daisy, when asked that very question recently, said that both created a beautiful, warm and friendly atmosphere on set, but that Rian was more cheeky and not as focused on secrecy as J.J. – as was recently seen with the teaser to mark the first day of filming on the eighth Star Wars feature film.

For more on Daisy’s comments, you can visit Den of Geek here to read the full story.

Daisy also featured prominently in the news recently because she was “skinny-shamed”.

Skinny-shamed, you ask?  You’ve no doubt heard of “fat-shaming”, well now internet trolls have taken it to a whole new level, and have attacked Daisy for setting unrealistic expectations amongst young women because she’s too skinny.

All the fuss took place on Daisy’s Instagram feed where one of these trolls posted a meme of Rey with a speach bubble saying “I can’t believe the unrealistic expectations I’m setting for young girls.  Who cast me anyway?  Don’t they know real women have curves?”

The comment took the young star by surprise, but to her credit she responded in a very measured and sensible way, declaring she will not allow anyone to make her feel bad or ashamed about her looks.

Daisy’s response?  “I will not apologise for how I look, what I say and how I live life ’cause what’s happening inside is much more important anyway and I am striving to be the best version of myself, even if I stumble along the way.  It seems apt I get tagged in this a day after I received misogynistic comments on my (International Woman’s Day) post.”

To read more of how Daisy handled this unusual attack, you can check out the article at the Guardian newspaper here.

Finally, J.J. Abrams has admitted he made a mistake in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, by having Leia hug Rey, rather than Chewbacca after they returned from the disastrous mission to take out the First Order’s superweapon.

Fans were so surprised by the lack of empathy between Chewbacca and Leia in the film, considering what had happened to them both, that it was creating all sorts of fury and conspiracy theories on the internet – with some fans even suggesting Chewbacca was the reason for Leia and Han’s relationship ending.

To stop all of the insane speculation, J.J. spoke up to set the record straight, pretty much saying he made a creative error.  There was a definite rationale behind the creative choices he made, and it simply didn’t play out which happens sometimes.

Congratulations to J.J. for having the courage to admit the mistake, because it shows a lot of respect for the fans and a great deal of respect for the integrity of the entire saga.

To read more about J.J.’s admission, visit Games Radar here.

Finn Rey and Poe

Star Wars: Episode VIII is scheduled to be released on the 17th of December, 2017.  The film is being written and directed by Rian Johnson and stars Daisy Ridley as Rey, John Boyega as Finn, Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa, Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, Anthony Daniels as C-3P0, Lupita Nyong’o as Maz Kanata, Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux, Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma and Andy Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke.

Joining the stars from Episode VII on the newest film are the recently announced Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern and Kelly Marie Tran.

For those of you desperate to watch Episode VII on DVD or BluRay, the seventh installment in the ongoing saga of the Skywalker family will be released on DVD and BluRay on the 5th of April.  It will be available for digital download on the 1st of April.

Preorders are available for the digital download now.

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The Countdown Begins

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Star Wars Episode VIII officially began filming today (the 15th of February in the US, the 16th here in Australia).

Rian Johnson, the director of the next installment in the ongoing saga of the Skywalker family, along with Disney, made a point of sharing this milestone with fans, posting to social media and various other sites.

Disney and Rian even released some footage officially commemorating the first day of filming.

The most special thing about that footage is that it shows us Luke Skywalker as more than a figure standing against a beautiful, scenic background in a wide shot.

The footage is brief, and like a lot of fans I’ve watched it a few times.  It begins with a zoom in across a body of water, with the island Luke has been hiding on centre screen, then switches to a close up of the Jedi Master, followed by a shot of Rey handing Luke his lightsaber.

From there we see a shot of Rian Johnson (very happily) saying “cut… beautiful.”  That’s followed by a simple graphic that reads ‘VIII’.  Then we’re back to Rian who says “…ladies and gentlemen, welcome to episode eight.”

The last thing we see is a graphic that reads ‘NOW IN PRODUCTION’.

Disney let the world know via the official Star Wars website, and their announcement was picked up by pretty much every science fiction and general entertainment website on the internet.

To read the official announcement and watch the footage from Lucasfilm and Disney, click here.

If you can’t tell, I’m bloody excited!

I’m looking forward to the anthology films, but with no where near as much excitement as I’m looking forward to Episode VIII!

I love this sort of fan service.  It makes us a part of the journey without ruining a thing, and it hypes up our anticipation.  The only disappointment for me in Episode VII, was the lack of Luke.  Getting this unexpected early gift from the production team was perfection.

I hope we get a few additional little glimpses as filming continues over the next few months.

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Star Wars VIII and Rebels Update

Star Wars Update

It’s been an interesting week for Star Wars with Princess Leia making her debut in Star Wars: Rebels, a surprising rumour about the eighth film, and a new release date for that same movie.

First up, Princess Leia.

I’ve read a number of reviews on the episode “A Princess on Lothal” which marks Leia’s first appearance in Star Wars: Rebels, and they have all been glowing – without exception.

The voice work for the young Princess Leia gets the thumbs up, as does the action vs character balance that the writers and producers have struck.  Some reviewers have gone as far as to call it one of the best episodes ever, loving how it links in Rebels to A New Hope.

If you live in the United States and haven’t seen the episode yet, you can stream it live right here.  Unfortunately, it’s region blocked for the rest of us and we’ll have to wait a little while to enjoy it.

In other Leia news, Hasbro have most definitely heard the fan outcry over the lack of female action figures in their Rebels and The Force Awakens toy lines, and have already announced a release of a 3.75 inch young Leia action figure with the five points of articulation common to other Star Wars: Rebels action figures.

You can take a look at the figure over at The Star Wars Underworld – which is another fantastic site for all things Star Wars.  The direct link to the relevant page is right here.

In another news report, the release date for Star Wars Episode VIII has been pushed back because of rewrites.

We’re being told there is nothing to worry about, and that the rewrites have happened for one reason and one reason only – fan love for Poe, Finn and Rey.

Apparently, the new film was going to introduce a handful of new characters, minimising the roles Poe, Finn and Rey would play, but fan reaction to The Force Awakens and in particular those three characters, has told the studio that that would be a very stupid idea.

There is another rumour that says the dates were changed for financial reasons.  In the United States, blockbuster season is traditionally the middle of the year, but The Force Awakens earned so much money over Christmas Disney is thinking it’s on to a good thing.  In case you didn’t notice, no major blockbuster was released in opposition to Episode VII.  While every movie released over Christmas did well, there wasn’t a massive popcorn flick to compete with our heroes fighting for freedom in that galaxy far, far away.

The new release date for Episode VIII is the 15th of December 2017.  That’s an almost seven month delay for those of you who are counting.

To read more on the decision to delay the film, you can visit Variety online here.

The last tidbit of information we have to share with you contains a possible spoiler for Episode VIII and a definite spoiler for Episode VII… it’s only a rumour, but proceed with caution.

Spoiler Alert

There are reports running around the internet that a certain character will return from the dead in Episode VIII.

Who?

Han Solo.

Han Solo The Force Awakens

Blastr have a feature on this rumour, but it is one that should be taken with a whole jug load of salt – not because Blastr have most likely gotten it wrong, they’re saying the same thing (take it with a grain or 50 of salt), but because the rumour has come about from a casting call which lists Harrison Ford as one of the stars of Episode VIII.

There’s a good chance someone simply copied the original Episode VII casting call listing, and didn’t think twice about using it for the Episode VIII call out to agents.

The rumour might be true, but it’s just as likely it’s an accident until we hear otherwise from Disney or Harrison himself.

To check out the rumour, head on over to the article at Blastr here.

That’s it for now.  If you’re in the mood for more Star Wars info, there are a few other things going on that you can read about, or if you’d like to listen to the views and opinions of other fans, there are some great podcasts that you can follow.  Just head over to my two favourite Star Wars news sites for more: Making Star Wars here and The Star Wars Underground here.

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