Monday, August 25, 2014

Star Wars 7 News Recap - Where Do We Stand Today?

In today's Star Wars 7 news recap, we'll be creating a compilation of everything we've learned in the past few months as well as include some of the latest stories. As the the release date for Star Wars Episode VII approaches, the amount of news, rumors and hearsay is growing and I must say that this blog is partly guilty of spreading them as well. However, we do this in the interest of the fans and we try our best to check as many sources as possible. While you will usually read a lot of bogus Star Wars 7 news out there, this article will be quite different because we will try to focus solely on the facts - just like we did in our first recap - 7 Facts about Star Wars 7. So, if you are ready to get started just follow the jump break bellow!


The Big Dates and Production of Star Wars Episode VII

The filming of the new movie began on May 16, 2014 and the location of choice was a city-port of Mos Eisly in Abu Dhabi. The production team as well as their Lucasfilm/Disney executives tried their best to hide the information about the set, but several leaks showed the public more information than we were allowed to know. As such, JJ Abrams and the production staff decided to embrace the rumors and shoot an official video campaign at the Abu Dhabi set. The video was about a charity that offered to provide a random lucky fan who donated money with a chance to come see the set and met the production team and the actors.

Update, August 28: A new, fresh report is avilable here.

Star Wars 7 Abu Dhabi Set
Early look at the Abu Dhabi set
Since then however, the rumors coming out of Mos Eisly have dropped, mostly because the majority of the movie will be filmed in England's Pinewood Studio. As far as I'm concerned it is obvious they used Abu Dhabi to film the scenes on Tatooine. Either way, we know the official release date of the movie will be December 18th, 2015.

The Director and Other Staff Members

As you already probably know, J.J. Abrams is the director of Star Wars 7 as well as one of the co-writers and good ol' George Lucas has a symbolic role in the movies as a creative consultant. However, the movies will be created based on his original drafts. While a lot of people will initially upset with J.J. Abrams being chosen as the director, I have to say that he certainly isn't such a bad choice as people make it. We've defended him on the blog when the new initially broke, mostly because he already has a lot of experience with Sci-Fi movies and because he expressed his love for the Star Wars 7 franchise.

Yes, Abrams is more than just the guy who'll be working on the movie - he is a fan, he grew up watching the series just like you and more!

JJ Abrams Star Wars 7 fan
Abrams is a longtime Star Wars fan
Oscar winning screenwriter Michael Arndt was also one of the first people we learned about at the start of 2014. He was hired to work on the film around the same time as Abrams and we honestly hated it. While he is a professional and an Oscar-awarded screenwriter we had a bit of rant about his previous work which is mostly based around Disney's cartoons such as Toy Story and Brave. Still, we are willing to let this slide if it all turns out good in the end.

As far as the actors are concerned, quite a few familiar faces will return to the big screen. Including:
  • Mark Hamil as Luke Skywalker
  • Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia, or rather Leia Solo by now
  • Harrison Ford as Han Solo
  • Anthony Daniels as C-3P0
  • Kenny Baker as R2-D2
  • Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca
However, you'll have a chance to see a lot of new actors in theaters and it's likely that you'll be seeing quite a bit of them in the rest of the sequel trilogy and just Star Wars 7. If you are interested in the full list of actors and their biographies, we've compiled an excellent article about them.

Rumored Timelines and Stories

There is a lot of speculation about the story of the new movie. Officially, the sequel trilogy should take 30 years after the amazing "Return of the Jedi" that ended the original trilogy. The Expanded Universe is full of stories about this period via various books and any fan who read them will tell you that the EU is pretty good. However, Disney has decided to completely ignore these timelines and stories and they will probably rewrite canon and create something new. This certainly upset a lot of people (myself included), but I do at least understand this move from a business perspective and in the end that's just what Disney is - a business!

In terms of speculations and hearsay, we've published an article recently about the possible state of the Galaxy 30 years after the Battle of Endor as well as an interesting story about how the comic book series Star Wars: Legacy fits perfectly with all the rumors.

Other Movies and Spin-Offs

Of course, it's hard to talk about Star Wars 7 news without thinking ahead about the others movies that Disney has announced (Episode 8 and 9). However, a couple of months ago word got out that there will be quite a few more spin-offs following the official movie releases. Here's the timeline that the rumor proposed:
  1. Animated TV Show "Rebels" on Disney XD (October 2014)
  2. Star Wars Episode VII (December 2015)
  3. Spin-off movie about Boba Fett (TBA, 2016)
  4. Star Wars Episode VIII (2017)
  5. Spin-off movie about Han Solo (TBA, 2018)
  6. Star Wars Episode IX (2019)
  7. Spin-off movie about Luke Skywalker (TBA, 2020)
Our comment at the time was something along the lines of this:

Star Wars Spin-Off Movies

However, we are just as excited as anyone to see a whole bunch of new Star Wars movies, video games and merchandise.

Latest Star Wars 7 News

Moving away from the recap, let's see some of the latest stories on the web about the upcoming movie. Apparently, Latino Reviews seems to believe (and they want us to trust them) that Emperor Palpatine is still out there and that he'll be the puppet master behind the villains of Star Wars 7.

Star Wars 7 Emperor Palpatine
Is he really not dead?
Here's the quote from the original article:
A lot can happen during the fall of an Empire, and maybe the moments we took to see our heroes party with the Ewoks was a forced perspective on something much more sinister. We all know that Lando blew up the second Death Star in the Millennium Falcon, and we know Luke had enough time to carry his dying father to a shuttle bay and unmask him. We also know, from Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back, that when you throw someone (or in Luke’s case, himself) down the tubes of a large space station, you might not necessarily die.
Another report claims that he may indeed return in the movies, but only as a Force Ghost and not an actual main villain. I'm not to happy with either of the two, but I do suppose that I can see it happening. Then again I'd like for "dead" characters to stay dead if possible.

Star Wars 7 News Feed

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