WookieeLeaks: Boba Fett, Han Solo and a Bunch of Muppets
ScreenCrush’s WookieeLeaks is a weekly roundup of everything ‘Star Wars’! From ‘Star Wars: 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, we comb through the latest ‘Star Wars’ spin-off news, learn the full of extent of Disney’s franchise plans, and learn Ewan McGregor’s very important opinion on that new lightsaber.
Boba Fett, Young Han Solo and That Guy Who Made ‘The Golden Compass’
Over the past few weeks, we’ve chronicled screenwriter Gary Whitta’s amicable departure from Gareth Edwards’ ‘Star Wars’ spin-off and covered the rumors that Simon Kinberg was going to step in to write the next draft of the screenplay. But now, as is often the case with movie news, something completely different happened. Lucasfilm and Disney have hired Chris Weitz to take a crack at the script.
Weitz is best known for co-writing and directing ‘About a Boy,’ which snagged him an Oscar nomination. However, his forays into larger films have been, well, less successful. He helped butcher ‘The Golden Compass,’ transforming a brave and weird fantasy book into a watered-down film. Then he directed ‘The Twilight Saga: New Moon,’ which has the distinction of being the worst film in a superbly awful franchise.
However, anyone who treats this as a “the sky is falling” moment is getting waaay ahead of themselves. Weitz has always been a better writer than director and there’s no way Edwards and his corporate overseers would hand this job to someone who couldn’t deliver. Plus, they’ve seen his screenplay for the upcoming ‘Cinderella’ and we haven’t. If They have faith in him, we should give him the benefit of the doubt. Don’t let the more troubling parts of his filmography worry you one bit.
By now, you surely know the rumored plot of his spin-off: a team of bounty hunters, including Boba Fett, work together to pull off a heist in a time before the events of the original 1977 film, their prize being the plans to the Empire’s Death Star. The latest buzz (from generally reliable sources) claims that yes, the film is definitely about bounty hunters, but it also throws something a little more surprising into the mix: Han Solo is involved, somehow.
Here’s why this is weird. First of all, if Han was involved in stealing the Death Star plans, why was he actually surprised by the station’s existence when he actually encountered it? Second, if Han Solo is involved, that would mean recasting the character and trying to find a modern actor capable of capturing Harrison Ford’s perfect blend of swagger and charm feel next to impossible. There could always be some kind of story reason that explains everything away (maybe he’s essentially a “getaway driver” who doesn’t know much about the actual details of the job), but this is the kind of rumor that raises more questions than it answers.
And that brings us to the other big spin-off rumor of the week, which arrived on the internet via Making Star Wars. Making Star Wars has proven itself to accurate in the past, but it has also proven itself to be willing to publish any and all rumors about the upcoming films because you have to fill your ‘Star Wars’ news site with something. So treat all of this next part as a fun rumor and nothing more.
How is the spin-off movie going to handle Boba Fett, who was embarrassingly revealed to be a clone in the prequel trilogy? If this is true, the film will simply sidestep all of that nonsense:
Boba Fett is a mantle. The name, the ship and the armor gets passed down to a successor. That’s how he is brought back for the films and explains the character for later stories.
It’s not the most clean way of handling things, but it’s also a great way of sidestepping anything related to the prequels. It would also allow future filmmakers to make more movies about the character without having to worry about his convoluted past. The same rumor claims that Michael Fassbender is the frontrunner to put on the Mandalorian armor, but that sounds an awful lot like a pipe dream. It’s no secret that Fassbender is desperate to get out of the ‘X-Men’ movies and it’s hard to imagine him immediately attaching himself to another massive franchise where he’ll have limited creative control.
In our professional opinion, don’t believe a word of this. Well, at least not yet.
‘The Force Awakens’ and Beyond
Even with a jam-packed summer ahead of us, 2015 is truly the year of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens.’ Heck, depending on who you talk to, ‘Mission: Impossible 5’ jumping head five months (which is almost unheard of in Hollywood) is all about distancing itself from J.J. Abrams’ film. 2015 is also the year of continuing filming, since ‘The Force Awakens’ is undergoing reshoots in Los Angeles from February 15th through the 17th. Before the internet tells you anything else, please remember that reshoots are a natural part of a film’s creation and are rarely a sign that something has gone terribly wrong. Plus, three days in LA suggests that this will be little more than a few scenes, probably shot in front of green screens or on makeshift sets. You are allowed to get a little concerned if the production scrambles back to England for more extensive work.
Speaking of the England set, Oscar Isaac continued his “answering ‘Star Wars’ questions while promoting ‘A Most Violent Year’” tour. This time, he was asked about the state of the set following Harrison Ford’s injury and his response is actually pretty heartwarming. It seems that J.J. Abrams guy is pretty good at making people comfortable and inspired on set:
JJ was in such high spirits, he was literally making jokes on the loudspeakers.
We had a big schedule that day, but JJ stopped us all and he said, ‘Can everybody just stop and look at the moon right now?’
He said, ‘Look how beautiful it is, and how lucky we all are to be here.’
JJ knows what’s important, and he reminded us it was a beautiful experience. He made it very personal.
While ‘The Force Awakens’ is still 11 months away, Disney CEO Bob Iger is already keeping one eye on the future. In a new interview, the powerful executive (who has snipers following ‘Star Wars’ actors at all times to make sure they don’t spoil anything) spoke about the larger plans for the franchise. His statement, which actually isn’t full of much new information, somehow manages to raise a lot of questions:
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. 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, let’s break that down real quick. Iger confirms that new episodes of the new trilogy will arrive in 2017 and 2019, but does not mention the involvement of writer/director Rian Johnson. Johnson himself has confirmed that he’ll be directing ‘Episode 8’ and writing ‘Episode 9,’ but Disney has yet to make an official announcement. What’s up with that? Is it less of a sure thing then we thought? And what about 2018? If Disney still plans to release a ‘Star Wars’ movie a year, is this still where Josh Trank’s ever-mysterious second spin-off is going to land? And then Iger makes reference to finishing this trilogy, which implies that another trilogy will probably follow in the ‘20s.
If anything, that almost sounds like too much ‘Star Wars.’ But we will allow it.
Possible ‘The Force Awakens’ Spoilers That You Shouldn’t Read
We here at WookieeLeaks try to be careful about spoilers, providing ample warning before posting anything that could ruin any surprises. So we’re going to tread lightly with this post from Star Wars 7 News, which claims to have major spoilers for ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens.’
We can’t confirm whether or not any of this is true or accurate. It could have been accurate at one time, only to get changed in a rewrite. It could be completely made up. Some of it sounds plausible and other, well, doesn’t. The post claims to have details about the first act of the film, delving into the role of Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), the ownership of BB-8, how John Boyega’s Finn gets involved in the story, and the exact nature of Daisy Ridley’s Rey. We aren’t going to repost ay of it here, but if you want to take a chance, grab your container of salt and head on over here to read if for yourself. Just be careful. If this is true, it contains some pretty massive plot points, including details on a plot twist that you may want to save for theaters.
We warned you!
They Are Still Making ‘Star Wars’ Video Games, of Course
Those of us who remember wasting countless quarters playing Star Wars Trilogy Arcade back in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s can only look upon the Star Wars: Battle Pod arcade cabinet and try not to cry. This thing looks incredible. And now, this video has arrived to further tease us about its very existence:
We have no idea if or when we’ll get a chance to play Star Wars: Battle Pod, but we now have a general idea of when the new Star Wars: Battlefront will arrive. According to a new statement from the game’s developer, the reboot of this incredible series will be “aligned with” ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens,’ whatever that means. Here’s the news (via Video Gamer):
Star Wars Battlefront will release “before Christmas” and the game will be “aligned with” The Force Awakens, EA’s chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen said.
“We’re extremely excited about that and we think there is huge potential for that title.”
“More to come in the next couple of months on that as more about the movie comes out as well as more about our titles comes out, but you should consider that a very large activity for us next [financial] year and very large focus, similar to how we thought about Battlefields in the past.”
The big question now is whether or not the game will feature anything from ‘The Force Awakens.’ Previous games in the series have showcased locations and characters from both the original trilogy and the prequels, so it’s not beyond the realm of possibility for them to dive right into the new movies. However, we do know that the game will take us to the forest moon of Endor thanks to some new concept art:
And now, time for a totally unsubstantiated rumor, coming to us once again from Star Wars 7 News! We already knew that Visceral was developing a top secret video game set in the ‘Star Wars’ universe, but a new report claims that it is a third person shooter following the adventures of a young Han Solo. Since we’ve been hearing for a long time that Josh Trank’s second spin-off would focus on Solo’s early days, this doesn’t sound surprising at all. In fact, it sounds like Disney’s super-synergy at work once again.
It turns out that former Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ewan McGregor, thinks that Kylo Ren’s lightsaber is a little silly. Do you know what else was silly? All of your ‘Star Wars’ movies! Oooh! Sick burn, McGregor!
Two clips from the next episode of ‘Star Wars Rebels’ (titled “Vision of Hope”) have arrived for your viewing pleasure:
And finally, remember that one time when the Muppets visited the set of ‘The Empire Strikes Back’? We didn’t either.