WookieeLeaks: First ‘Star Wars: Episode 7′ Set Pics, New Casting and More
ScreenCrush’s WookieeLeaks is a weekly roundup of everything ‘Star Wars’! From ‘Episode 7,’ to the upcoming spinoffs and the TV shows, if it pertains to that long ago, far away galaxy, we’re covering it here, bringing you our expert analysis. This week, the first major images from the ‘Episode 7′ set arrive, Mark Hamill shows off his new look, and two fantastic actresses join the saga.
First Images From the ‘Star Wars: Episode 7′ Set
There’s a reason ScreenCrush’s new ‘Star Wars’ news column started this week: the first images from the set of ‘Episode 7′ were released! And by released, we mean leaked by a cast or crew member! And by cast or crew member, we mean someone who is probably majorly fired right now!
The first batch of images show off the new Tatooine set, which looks, as you’d expect, like Tatooine. Although we wonder why director J.J. Abrams and his team thought it was necessary to return to this backwater hellhole of the planet (all Luke wanted to do was escape it!), seeing these sets and that truly awesome practical creature sends a chill down our spine.
Interesting to note is how Abrams seems to be repurposing some of Ralph McQuarrie’s old concept art for Jabba’s palace (shown below). Check out all the new set photos over at TMZ.
The second batch of leaked images arrived less than a day later and showcase the reconstruction of two familiar ships. No, you’re not going crazy. That’s the Millennium Falcon and an X-Wing getting built.
It’s no secret that Abrams is a stickler for secrecy on his sets, but at least he seems to be taking these leaks in good spirit. The below tongue-in-cheek image was posted on the official Bad Robot Twitter feed, humorously confirming that, yes, the Millennium Falcon is back. Duh.
— Bad Robot (@bad_robot) June 4, 2014
For those of you who aren’t total nerds, that note is on top of a Dejarik table, a game last seen being played in ‘Star Wars: Episode 4′ … on board the Falcon.
Here’s Your Older, Wizened Luke Skywalker (and Some Mouse)
What does an older, wiser and presumably more powerful Luke Skywalker look like? Like this, apparently.
Yep, that’s a recent image of Mark Hamill posing with his new corporate overlord, Jedi Mickey, ahead of his Star Wars Weekends appearance at Disney World … and he looks great! Apparently, getting the chance to reprise one of the most famous roles in movie history is all of the motivation you need to get back into shape. Most importantly, he looks absolutely badass with his Obi-Wan Kenobi-esque beard.
Watch him preview his upcoming appearance at Disney World in the video below.
While he was in town to pose with Mickey, Hamill also spoke with the Orlando Sentinel, discussing getting into shape, seeing the set and how he feels about spoilers:
I’ve altered my diet. I’ve started working out. There’s that. But on the film itself: I toured the departments, I’ve looked at wardrobe, and I saw the creature shop. I went around and met all the cast people, saw the technicians working on some new things. This is a whole different world … The first one, no one cared. The second one there was a lot of interest, but it was before the internet. … I tell people we’re not trying to annoy you or tease you or play some massive game. Basically what the goal is to keep the surprises for the movie instead of spoiling them on the internet.
Mark Hamill is getting interviewed about being in a ‘Star Wars’ movie. Wow, is it really 2014?
Another ‘Star Wars’ Spinoff Finds a Young Director
Well, that was fast: we were still reeling from the announcement that ‘Godzilla’ director Gareth Edwards was set to helm the first of the ‘Star Wars’ spinoffs, but then Lucasfilm went and announced Josh Trank to take on the second. Trank is the man behind the shockingly good ‘Chronicle’ and the upcoming ‘Fantastic Four’ reboot and he’s one the hottest new talents in Hollywood. The fact that Disney is going after young and interesting talent like him and Edwards is a great sign.
But what movie will he direct? Random internet guesswork has Edwards taking on a Boba Fett movie and Trank tackling a young Han Solo project. Based on early information from Lucasfilm and Disney, we do know that at least three spinoff films are being developed and reportedly the previously mentioned characters will be the first to get them. But who knows? Whatever it is, we’re excited to see what these guys bring to this universe.
Two Top-Notch ‘Star’-lets Join the Saga
Speaking of awesome people getting involved with the ‘Star Wars’ saga, ‘Episode 7′ rectified its dearth of female characters by casting Lupita Nyong’o and Gwendoline Christie in two mystery roles. This is great news for two reasons. First, it immediately helps shut down the criticism that the film doesn’t have enough women on board. And second, these two are just terrific actresses.
Nyong’o is the newly minted Oscar winner who shattered our hearts into a thousand pieces with her work in ’12 Years a Slave,’ and will also step behind the camera and star in an adaptation of ‘Americanah.’ She’s new to this whole “major film production with the entire world watching her” thing, but she’ll be fine. Christie is no stranger to geek fare, having played fan-favorite Brienne of Tarth for three seasons of HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’ (not to mention, she also joined the cast of the final two ‘Hunger Games’ movies.) If there’s one thing to say about J.J. Abrams it’s that he sure knows how to cast a movie.
Adam Driver and Darth Vader on the New Trilogy, Spinoffs
We imagine that the cast of ‘Star Wars: Episode 7′ have snipers armed with tranquilizer guns following them at all times, just in case they decide to start talking about anything that happens in the new movie. However, Adam Driver is the first of the new cast to break the ice, telling Empire:
You grew up watching something and then suddenly you’re in the midst of all those characters with them talking to each other! You want to make R2-D2 noises and lightsaber whooshes – but nobody actually did.
Meanwhile, Variety drilled Darth Vader himself, Mr. James Earl Jones, for details and came up mostly empty-handed. When asked if we could expect any kind of appearance from him in upcoming films or spinoffs, he responded:
Oh no. I’ve got no illusions that I will or even hankerings to be in them, but I’m very proud to have been part of the original.
Well, he was cremated at the end of ‘Return of the Jedi.’ Let the poor man be.
‘Star Wars Rebels’ Update
All eyes may be on ‘Star Wars: Episode 7,’ but ‘Star Wars Rebels’ will be premiering on TV sometime this year. The spiritual successor to ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars,’ the animated series takes place during the age of the Rebellion (aka the original trilogy), which automatically puts it in our good graces. Although no official release date has been announced, the evidence is starting to suggest that we’ll get our first episode come October.
The Canon Reconfiguration Continues
A few months ago, there was a great disturbance in the Force and countless stories and novels cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced.
We’re referring to the announcement that the ‘Star Wars’ “expanded universe” was officially no longer canon. Decades worth of comics, books and video games no longer exist and were relegated to the new “Star Wars Legends” brand. They’ll still be around, but most of those non-cinematic characters and events will be of no consequence moving forward.
It was a controversial choice to say the least, though things are moving forward: it was revealed that the new expanded universe will officially begin with the 150th issue of Star Wars Insider magazine. Any fiction published there from that point forward is officially part of the new canon. It doesn’t quite make up for all of the lore that’s been wiped away, but at least we can watch as the universe is rebuilt from scratch. Dry your tears, boys and girls. Enjoy the fact that new ‘Star Wars’ stuff is going to be coming faster than ever.
Cool ‘Star Wars’ Stuff
Believe it or not, there’s an entire generation of kids being raised on a diet of ‘Star Wars’ prequels with limited exposure to the original trilogy. It’s sad, we know. But with ‘Star Wars: Episode 7′ tying in closely with the original films, Lucasfilm and Disney are doing everything in their power to get the kids interested in the classic cast. This Luke Skywalker storybook looks like a great start.
Speaking of cool ‘Star Wars’ stuff that your kids will like, some mad man decided to build the most accurate LEGO Star Destroyer of all time and it’s astonishing. Okay, scratch that last sentence: this is something that everyone is allowed to like. You can check out a full gallery of this 110 pounds (40,000 LEGO bricks!) monster over here.
Elsewhere, Andy Fairhurt has gone and designed a really cool set of posters (via Collider) for the original trilogy. Reminiscent of Olly Moss’ acclaimed series of ‘Star Wars’ posters, they manage to sum up each film with a simple, beautiful and slightly abstract image.
And finally, Lucasfilm has been releasing parts of ‘From Star Wars to Jedi: The Making of a Saga’ documentary on their official YouTube channel. The film chronicles the creation of the original ‘Star Wars’ trilogy, and the fifth part (of nine) was released today. So settle down, perhaps with some of these R2-D2, Chewbacca and Death Star cookies, and return to a galaxy far, far away.