Hey Star Wars fans! Much like the Star Wars film franchise, I’m back! Unlike the Star Wars return, however, I’m not directed by JJ Abrams so you don’t have to watch out for lens flares.
This week we’re just doing a quick write-up of recent events on the Star Wars news front but if all goes as planned I will be back next week with a new episode of Salacious Crumbs on our Youtube Channel SciFi4Me TV. But enough news about news (metanews? news-inception?) you’re here for Star Wars news so let’s get to it!
(And technically, this can count as “Episode XIV”)
First of all, let’s all get excited for our FIRST confirmed for-sure casting for Episode VII! Congratulations to Kenny Baker on his return to the roll of R2-D2! I’m personally incredibly glad that Artoo is returning to the silver screen because, let’s face it, he’s the true hero of the series. If you disagree with me, please feel free to say so in the comments below so I may argue with you. However, as this is news and not my tumblr I will simply state that I feel a galaxy far far away would be doomed without the little beeping droid.
Baker’s casting isn’t the only piece of solid news we’ve had about the film. Disney CEO Bob Iger stated in a press release on StarWars.com that the film will be taking place thirty years after the events of Return of the Jedi. In addition to this tantalizing bit of information, his teasing hint that it “will star a trio of new young leads along with some very familiar faces” has fans excitedly speculating on both the new faces and the old. Although Artoo is the only confirmed old face, most of us are still holding out hope for a return of the core three: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford. Speculation is strongest with Fisher, who is writing a stage play in the London area at the time of filming…very suspicious. Hamill, meanwhile, is appearing at Disney World’s “Star Wars Weekends” June 6-8, which makes it seem as if Disney is interested in keeping him fresh in people’s minds when it comes to the franchise.
As for the new faces, rumors are absolutely flying about both who the characters will be and who will play them. With the announcement of the “thirty years later” timeline, many are speculating that the trio of new faces will include Solo twins Jacen and Jaina from the expanded universe novels…particularly the story of Jacen’s transformation into Darth Caedus. The timeframe fits well, but I’m personally a little hesitant. I just don’t feel like this is the direction that Disney and Abrams would likely take…especially given Executive Producer Kathleen Kennedy’s insistence that the new trilogy would be a brand new story. While I think the Solo twins and Boba Fett’s daughter Ailyn Vel are likely characters to lead the films I simply don’t think that they will choose to adapt stories already thoroughly covered in the works of Timothy Zahn, Rebecca Moesta, Kevin J. Anderson and others.
As for the actors playing the new characters, whoever they may be, it seems like the rumor mill turns out more actresses and actors each day! The latest rumor features newly minted Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o. The rumored role attached to the 12 Years a Slave actress? A descendent of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Interesting idea I suppose. Although the Jedi are supposed to be celibate, there’s evidence in the expanded universe of Kenobi having some romantic liaisons in his younger years so I suppose it could work…but mostly I think this rumor is mostly just the product of over-excitement after the Academy Awards.
More speculation: an Icelandic tourism site claims that film crews will be taking some plate shots (essentially scenery without actors) in Iceland for Episode VII. This has people wondering whether we will be visiting Hoth on this latest journey through the Star Wars ‘verse. I’m a little wary of this rumor due to its origin: I just don’t think a tourism site is a good source for news since even the slightest hint that Star Wars might be filming there could mean a big boost for tourism. Keeping that in mind…hey! They might be collecting shots of freezing vistas for Hoth scenes! Cool!
In video game news, EA has stated that we should not expect the upcoming Star Wars titles to be particularly movie-centric. Instead, they are approaching the games similarly to how Warner Bros. approached the Batman “Arkham” titles. They want the games to tie into the films, but have their own, immersive world and plots allowing gamers to get a fresh experience rather than just rehashing the films. I’m certainly looking forward to it. Remember, for more video game news, be sure to check out the lovely Annaleigh Josephs on The Grid, right here on Scifi4me.com.
For those of you who are already planning out their Star Wars day celebrations, you may want to consider taking in a ball game. Minor league baseball’s Durham Bulls are celebrating their May 4th game by commissioning special R2-D2 inspired jerseys, which will then be auctioned off after the game to benefit the Autism Society of North Carolina. The jerseys are pretty cool, and only 40 or so are getting made, so if you’re a fan of Star Wars and baseball and want to donate to a great cause, this might be the event for you.
Finally, something I’m personally excited about: Ian Doescher, writer of the fantastic William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope, has written the next two installments of the trilogy. I loved the first book. The illustrations are hysterical, featuring classic Star Wars scenes with an Elizabethan flair and the beautiful iambic pentameter rewrite makes my nerdy heart go pitter-pat. Now with the release of The Empire Striketh Back and July’s release of The Jedi Doth Return I can complete my trilogy…and so can you. The books are available on amazon.com and I can’t recommend them highly enough.
That’s it for this week. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel if you haven’t already, because next week we are back on the air. As always: may the force be with you.
30 YEARS LATER/KENNY BAKER
OBI-WAN’S DESCENDENT? SERIOUSLY?!
HAMILL AT SWWEEKENDS
EA: SW GAMES LIKE ARKHAM