A Last Jedi Update

Star Wars The Last Jedi Update June

It’s been relatively quiet on the Star Wars: The Last Jedi front for a while, with probably the biggest bit of news focusing on a comment Mark Hamill made, where he had said he had disagreed with Rian Johnson’s interpretation of Luke and Luke’s journey as a character in the eighth film.

It all began a few weeks ago, in late May, when Mark was remembering the first time he ever read the script for the new film:

“I at one point had to say to Rian, ‘I pretty much fundamentally disagree with every choice you’ve made for this character.  Now, having said that, I have gotten it off my chest, and my job now is to take what you’ve created and do my best to realise your vision.”

And, as the internet and fans are wont to do, everything went… BANG!

Fans were worried, some people feared it meant the eighth movie would feature a Luke Skywalker who was barely recognisable when compared with the Luke we all grew up with in the original trilogy… and so on.

Mark has now explained his remark and spoke to Variety to once and for all clear up the accidental storm his words created.

Just in case the link doesn’t work and you’re unable to watch the interview, Mark’s explanation is below.

“Rian Johnson is an amazing filmmaker,” Mark said, “and if you look at Brick or Brothers Bloom or Looper, each film is different from the last one and they’re so inventive.  I think people will be pleased and surprised, I know I was.  I got in trouble, because I was quoted as saying to Rian that I fundamentally disagree with everything you decided about Luke, and it was inartfully phrased.  What I was, was surprised at how he saw Luke.  And it took me a while to get around to his way of thinking, but once I was there it was a thrilling experience.  I hope it will be for the audience too.”

In addition to the worry and confusion generated by Mark’s words, GamesRadar are wondering if a Lego figure has revealed the origin of Supreme Leader Snoke!

Click the GamesRader link (just above, in blue) to go see the new Lego figure and read the theories.

Last, but not least, the wonderful StarWarsNewsNet has posted about a Japanese promotional image for the new movie that, when translated, ‘roughly’ says: “The Most Shocking Truth In Star Wars History Will Soon Be Revealed!”

No one seems to be able to decide whether or not it’s just hyped up language to attract an audience, or if someone somewhere slipped a little bit of information to the Japanese and they’re taking ‘teasing’ an audience to a whole new level?

To read the article, visit StarWarsNewsNet here.

That’s it for this update, but we can expect more news to come out soon as we count down to December and the opening night of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

The eighth feature film in the series stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Andy Serkis, Gwendoline Christie, Benicio del Toro, Laura Dern and Kelly Marie Tran.

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A Star Wars Update

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Way back in June, Rian Johnson told the world that Star Wars: Episode VIII had officially wrapped filming… and maybe it had, but we’ve recently learned that at least one major Star Wars star is about to go back in front the cameras (or did very recently) and another star for the first time!

Lupita Nyong’o, the stunningly beautiful actress whose motion capture skills and acting talent brought the character of Maz Kanata to life in The Force Awakens, had commented a while ago (after Rian’s announcement) that despite the end of principal photography, she hadn’t filmed her scenes yet.

This gave rise to rumours Maz wan’t going to be in the eighth Saga film.

Those were put to rest when Lupita appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

She quickly shot down the rumours and let everyone know that she had completed her scenes and while no one can ever guarantee they won’t end up on the cutting room floor, as far as she knows, she’s in the movie.

Another surprise piece of information that came via the New York Comic Con‘s Instagram was that the First Lady of Star Wars was not done with filming.  The NYCC’s Instagram said “We’re sorry to announce that due to #StarWars production, Carrie Fisher will only be at #NYCC on Sunday.”

The convention runs from the 6th to the 9th of October, which would indicate additional filming for Episode VIII will happen into early/mid October.

This, of course, set the rumour mill off.

The fan community often goes into a minor meltdown when a movie schedules additional filming or reshoots.

It should be pointed out, neither Lupita’s or Carrie’s stuff are reshoots.  Lupita was doing her scheduled filming, and Carrie is doing additional filming.

Additional filming usually means footage is being shot that couldn’t be gotten to because of scheduling conflicts.  Sometimes it means that new things are added in to improve the flow of the film.  There have been indications that Leia’s role may be being expanded.  A few sources have reported this, but to date I haven’t been able to find any formal confirmation so we really don’t know.

Some of you may remember reports from a few months ago that said Leia spends a fair amount of time in a coma in Episode VIII.  Perhaps, during editing, Rian decided that didn’t work and wanted to see the General up and around and being more active.

This would certainly make the fans happy.  Though Carrie had an okay sized role in Episode VII, it wasn’t as meaty as it could have been.  Of course, it was better than Marks!

The important thing to remember is this is normal.  Productions schedule additional shoots and reshoots into their budgets and timelines to cover all bases.  A film shoot is a really complicated thing with dozens to hundreds of different moving parts.  All of which can be derailed by a bird chirp no one picked up on, or a shadow no one saw.  Since World War Z, which required major reshoots because the story wasn’t working, people have gotten anxious when a movie they are looking forward to does a little extra work around the edges.

The last bit of big news out of the Star Wars universe is that Season Three of Star Wars: Rebels launched on the 24th of September, featuring the introduction of fan favourite Legacy character, Grand Admiral Thrawn.

It’s probably a little too soon to gauge overall viewer reaction to Thrawn’s inclusion, as he will be new to some fans who didn’t follow the Expanded Universe (now Legends) novels, but if you are a fan of Thrawn and are able to watch the newest season, keep an eye out for one of the most intriguing protagonists to ever be introduced to the Star Wars universe.

As more news on Episode VIII and Rebels comes to light, we’ll report on it here.

Until then, May the Force be with you.

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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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John Boyega on Episode VIII

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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.

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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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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

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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 Update

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With Star Wars: The Force Awakens now an unqualified success, Star Wars fans are starting to wonder about what comes next.

While we have continued to bask in the glow of the rebirth of a franchise that we had all, at one time or another, feared was dead, work on the eighth feature film has been underway for some time.

And someone has seen the script.

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Daisy Ridley has read the script for episode eight, and she says it’s good.  Very good.

Episode eight starts filming in only a few weeks time, so of course Daisy has seen the script, along with her co-starts (no doubt), but this is the first time someone has commented on it.

If you’d like to check out the article, visit the fantastic Making Star Wars website for more information.  Bookmark MSW, as a site, it’s writers have done an incredible job of keeping fans up to date on everything episode seven.  No doubt they will do the same with episode eight.

To read the article, click here.

Episode eight is being written and directed by Rian Johnson, and while we don’t know how many of the cast is returning, word is it will – at the very least – be Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Daisy Ridley as Rey, Oscar Isaac as Poe, John Boyega as Finn, and Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma.

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