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Star Wars Roundup: The Force Awakens, Bob Iger, George Lucas, Battlefront and more…

January 31st, 2015 by Marc Comments

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Before we start… let me just tell you that this day 18 years ago the Star Wars: Special Edition hit US cinemas… are we feeling old yet?

Ok, first up, Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger has been talking at the Disney shareholders’ report about the future of Star Wars in film and he had a few interesting things to say: “As one of the few people allowed to visit the set during filming….and one of the fewer who’s seen most of the footage…I can assure the millions of Star Wars fans who have spent the last decade hoping for a new movie this one will be worth the wait.”

He goes on about what this is the seat of: “And it’s only the beginning of a new era of exceptional Star Wars storytelling; next year we’ll release our first standalone movie based on these characters, followed by Star Wars: Episode VIII in 2017, and we’ll finish this trilogy with Episode IX in 2019.” 

So, what did we learn? Well, there seems to be a bit of confusion; firstly many sites are repotting that the “these characters” part means the spinoffs will feature The Force Awakens characters and, while this may be true, we reckon he just means Star Wars characters in general. Although, since Han, Luke and Leia are all in the movie, it opens it up to that too. After all, we’re hearing a lot of reports that the first spinoff from Gareth Edwards due on December 16th next year, will feature Han and Boba Fett (here).

It’s also interesting that he says “this trilogy”, implying that there could be more after Episode IX. But we thought that, anyway. Didn’t we?

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In other news, details of a still that will be appearing soon from The Force Awakens and features Han, Leia and Chewie have apparently surfaced and it sounds like the characters have a wonderful Original Trilogy appearance and feel:

The guys at report: “In the photo, Princess Leia is sitting with her arm around the Wookiee, on his lap, as if Chewbacca is Santa Claus. Han Solo stands behind them with his arms crossed. The first photo in the gallery is really similar to the pose they’re in. Han Solo has the coat that looks really similar to the Indie Revolver concept leak, but the shirt is a little more Return of the Jedi and the duster appears to be the shorter cut, so its very much not a trench coat. His hair is gray, he’s got some mileage, sweetheart. Han’s expression is impatient but you can tell they’re having fun taking the photos.

“Contrary to the bits we’ve seen of Chewbacca so far, he really does have a little more grey in his fur but not a ton, just more than the recent photos would have you think. In the “Thank You” video, I think that’s a stunt double’s costume. The Bob Iger pic had an Instagram filter on it that obscured the real look of the beast, so to speak. Basically, Chewbacca’s A New Hope mustache is back and its more serious than ever. Its pretty dark. The front of the mask has very yellowish/brown hair which allows the ‘stache to really shine. When you get to the top of the head hairline, its a little darker in tone and there’s more white/grey hair dispersed in there than the Return of the Jedi costume had. The source joked that Chewbacca’s ‘stache is almost looking a little Billy Dee in the shot. The costume looks really stellar and Chewbacca seems to have an upgraded satchel as well. In reality, the Chewbacca costume hasn’t really been revealed as the hero suit is still unseen publicly. The hair is combed straight back, classic style, no bangs for the Wookiee.

“Princess Leia is wearing a solid jumpsuit. It is grayish blue. She wears a black vest which hangs below her waist. The vest is more in the style of the Tantive IV trooper than Han Solo’s classic vest. The jumpsuit has an open button-down collar and the cuffs are rolled up about two inches at her wrists. She has a thick black belt with a silver belt-buckle (very 1980). Her hair is braided and pulled over to the side so it hangs over her left shoulder in a ponytail. Her hair is grey with dark blonde tones to it. She has dark black boots on with a darker black band around the top of them.

“Leia’s costume really evokes the look and feel of the Tantive IV Troopers sans dopey space helmet. The blue with the black vest and the black boots almost works in a way as to state she is or was of those people. Its an early Spring attire that says “Remember Alderaan.” The under-jumpsuit really has an Empire Strikes Back vibe to it. But overall, she looks like the queen of the Tantive IV troopers.

“The costumes of The Force Awakens are very much back to basics. All the lead characters have very simple designs. Unlike Return of the Jedi or a complex film like The Phantom Menace, the designs are very much like those from The Empire Strikes Back. Richard Marquand didn’t like the costumes for The Empire Strikes Back and you’ll notice they change drastically in look and feel after that. Conceptually, I saw a lot of Return of the Jedi making its way into the costumes, but in terms of photographs, its looking very basic and well done. I don’t feel there’s a right way to do this, just the director’s preference and Abrams appears to prefer the simple designs. So cosplayers are going to be really happy about that!”

The truth will be revealed if and when the image appears, but we love what we’re hearing so far.


We reported last week (here) that Orphan Black actress Tatiana Maslany (above) was in talks for the lead role in the first spinoff movie and now we’re hearing she’s signed on the dotted line.

It seems that sources on the production team are saying she has the lead role after she impressed Disney and Lucasfilm. Interestingly, Entertainment Weekly have reported that “Amanda Seyfried will make her Off-Broadway acting debut opposite Thomas Sadoski in Neil LaBute’s newest drama, The Way We Get By. She replaces Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany, who withdrew from the previously-announced production due to film scheduling conflicts.”

Should we take this as meaning she will be filming the movie? Of course not, but the timeline fits…

uncle george

Seems like George Lucas, the man many say created the current trend in modern cinema, doesn’t like the, em, trend in modern cinema.

Talking at the Sundance Festival, Lucas said that movies are “more and more circus without any substance behind it”.

However, quick to not lay that at his own feet, he added: “If you go into ‘Star Wars’ and see what’s going on there, there’s a lot more substance than circus.”

He adds that special effects must be used as part of the storytelling by saying “All art is technology. That’s the one thing that separates us from animals.”

Is he right? It’s hard to argue that cinema is more about the bang for your buck now… but is that partly his responsibility?


And finally…

EA and DICE are quietly working away on Star Wars Battlefront and now they have released the stunning piece of concept art above.

IGN  describe it: “The imagery features a pair of Rebels, a woman with a standard blaster, and a man with a scoped rifle, flanking a pair of Stormtroopers – one with his rifle at the ready, the other priming a Thermal Detonator – as the forest moon of Endor burns in the background.

“In the distance, behind the Empire’s AT-ST, we get a glimpse of Ewok villages in the trees, hopefully indicating verticality in DICE’s map design. A defeated AT-ST sits smoking in the woods. Perhaps this suggests destroyed vehicles remain on Star Wars Battlefront’s battlefields.”

It’s certainly a beautiful piece of art. Let’s hope the game lives up to it…

Sources: ComicBook, MakingStarWars, TotalGeeks, IGN, Darkhorizons

Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….