WookieeLeaks: J.J. Abrams Has Built a Whole Bunch of Hutts (and Other, Less Reliable News)
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, explore some serious (and possibly totally made up) character details from ‘The Force Awakens,’ see which alien race is returning to the new film in practical form, and learn which iconic villain will be showing up on ‘Star Wars Rebels.’
‘Star Wars: Episode 7’ Details That You Can (Maybe! Possibly! Who Knows?!) Trust
It’s official: ‘Star Wars’ news has officially become the most dangerous game. Between Disney officially pursuing legal action against people posting photos of the set and Mark Hamill encouraging fans to just chill out and relax and not get too worked up over ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens,’ it’s like we’re butting heads with a big conspiracy. But we say nay! We shall keep on digging deep into the muck that is the ‘Star Wars’ news game! Just please don’t sue us.
Okay, so let’s dive into the Sarlacc Pit that is Possible and Possibly Untrue ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ plot and character details. As usual, the spoiler-sensitive may want to just scroll down to the next section while covering their ears and humming, but just to be safe, we’re start with the least spoilery stuff and work our way up. Sound good?
First, let’s start with this brief interview with the man behind C-3P0, Anthony Daniels, who continued to do what he’s been doing for the past few months: talk up the new film like his life depends on it (without saying anything too concrete). And maybe his life does depend on it! After all, actual movie money must be so much better than convention and autograph money:
Next up, Making Star Wars really went down the rabbit hole this week and posted descriptions of photographs taken on the set showcasing actors in their costumes. Yep, this is a thing that people like us are interested in, apparently. We cannot confirm if these are real, but some of the descriptions do sound like the concept art that got plastered all over the internet last year, so it could be legit.
First up, here’s Han Solo/Harrison Ford:
In the photo, Princess Leia is siting with her arm around the Wookiee, on his lap, as if Chewbacca is Santa Claus. Han Solo stands behind them with his arms crossed ... 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.
Next up is Chewbacca, who appears to have been given a whole bunch of subtle makeovers to his appearance, including a little bit of gray hair:
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.
And finally, there’s Princess Leia/Carrie Fisher, who sounds like she’s dressed very much like a Rebel diplomat:
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.
Let’s use that Leia costume description to segue into our next topic. For awhile now, we have known that Billie Lourd, Carrie Fisher’s daughter, has been cast in the film. For almost as long, people have suspected that she will be playing a young Leia in some kind of flashback (which will be a first for ‘Star Wars’). We didn’t hear any confirmation of this, but Deadline and E Online both cited the rumor, which only lends more credibility to what was once a crackpot idea.
And that brings us to some really specific stuff. As always, this could be total BS, but if you’re hungry for more, don’t care if none of this is true, and have brought along your salt, read on! There are massive potential spoilers from here on out.
This news also comes from Making Star Wars, who claim that much of it aligns with what they have heard (and they have been right before). Interestingly, much of this report depends on one key rumor being true. Last week, we talked about how Daisy Ridley’s Rey may actually be the secret daughter of Han Solo and Leia Organa and if this isn’t true, everything below pretty much falls apart
Let’s start with this big info dump, which explains where Luke Skywalker has been, what the villainous Kylo Ren wants, and how Rey fits into the whole equation. According to this report, they are all very closely linked:
The implication is that basically Rey and Luke go into hiding at exactly the same time for the same reason. She is the daughter of Han and Leia and she’s tasked with protecting a lightsaber that can open a proverbial Pandora’s Box of evil. Artifacts being sought after by Kylo Ren are collected because they’re trying to figure out which artifact will open the tomb. Luke Skywalker is guarding the tomb and being tormented by evil spirits [and] appears half crazed from the duty he’s been on.
That actually lines up with a lot of what we have heard about Kylo Ren and Luke Skywalker already, but the whole “Rey has the key to a secret Sith tomb” is new to us. Here’s the question to ponder: is Rey really a secret Solo or does fandom just want her to be a secret Solo?
Our next chunk of spoiler goodness/total BS is all about Domhnall Gleeson, whom we have heard next to nothing about. If true, it sounds like he’s playing someone of massive, utmost importance with genuinely interesting motivations that place him between both sides in the ongoing Rebel/Imperial conflict:
Domhnall Gleeson was a rebel for many years and he’s the son of “a huge character.” But he defected to the Empire when he learned that the Rebels had constructed a super weapon in secret. With less than honorable people in the Rebel Alliance now, Gleeson’s character is tasked with hunting Finn while also on a secret mission to destroy both super weapons of the Empire and the Rebels.
The son of a huge character? Could he also be a secret Solo? Could Han and Leia have a turncoat son? That would be crazy. Even crazier is this description of Gleeson’s right hand woman, played by Gwendoline Christie:
Gwendoline Christie is his lead shock trooper. She’s a chrome trooper with black and red cape that is hunting Finn. She uses a lightsaber, is arrogant, demeaning, and kills indiscriminately. Her face is heavily scarred and she has a military haircut. Yes, the ability to cloak herself did come up and it supposedly is used twice in the movie.
If that’s true, we can totally see the badass ‘Game of Thrones’ veteran playing that character. In fact, it’s hard to imagine anyone else filling that role.
Finally, there’s this bit about John Boyega’s Finn, which tells us all about his personal history, how he became a Stormtrooper and his motivation for fleeing his Imperial overlords:
They say that Finn’s family was murdered by The Empire and he was forced into recruitment along with his best friend. His best friend is killed in the opening sequence of the film in front of Finn. This role is rumored to be played by Pip Andersen. It is shortly after this scene that he meets his likely next best friend for life, Poe.
The full article actually goes into greater detail about how be meets Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and shed more light on the first act of the film. So there’s a lot more at the link above if you want to spoil yourself silly, including more information about Max von Sydow’s character.
Or it’s all made up and we just wasted a lot of time reading fan fiction.
We Like Practical Hutts and We Cannot Lie
Yes, this is news that could have easily been folded into the section above. But when you have the opportunity to write a header like that, you don’t turn it down. These things don’t come along very often.
Anyway, we have heard multiple sources talk about a piece of concept art from ‘The Force Awakens’ that pictures Leia meeting with a delegation of Hutts (as in Jabba the), so it’s very likely that these slimy crime lords will appear in the new movie in some capacity. And according to the folks over at Latino Review, director J.J. Abrams has constructed a whole bunch of practical Hutts rather than rely on CGI:
Well, I can forward that timeline for you today: there are Hutts in The Force Awakens, we know because those Hutts have been practically built. I know there is more than one Hutt, but unsure how many exactly are going to show up. The process of constructing these Hutts began over a year ago, so you can imagine how my ears perked up when it was rumored that the Star Wars spin-off film would be “sharing assets” with The Force Awakens, despite being in different time periods. Last time I speculated this would mostly be ships and interiors, but how hard can it be to re-dress a Hutt? Reaching out to a source, I was told:“I’m sure their existence could have factored in to them being included, or the expenditure was made because it was all coordinated.” In other words: if JJ wanted expensive Hutts, it might have been okay since they could be used down the line.
Let’s dwell on that whole “sharing assets” thing for a moment. We heard a little while back that Disney was planning to save money by recycling sets and props from film-to-film, but it would make sense to recycle a whole bunch of practical Hutts ... especially since Gareth Edwards’s spin-off film is supposedly going to center on the criminal element of the ‘Star Wars’ universe.
What’s that? Do you smell that perfectly executed segue?
All About That Spin-Off
We have been hearing for a long time that Edwards’ untitled 2016 spin-off would focus on Bounty Hunters, but according to Badass Digest, that is ever-so-slightly incorrect. Since this is the same site that has broken reliable news in the past, we are ready to believe the following:
Early reports had it being about bounty hunters, but my sources tell me it's actually about pirates, a small but vital distinction. Bounty hunters are the guys who chased Han Solo, while pirates are the guys who are Han Solo. That's why there's been a lot of speculation and buzz that this is the Young Han Solo movie we've all been dreading.
That is an important distinction. That doesn’t mean bounty hunters won’t be involved (Boba Fett has to be a main character in the film after everything that we’ve heard), but it’s certainly an interesting wrinkle.
But who will be playing these pirates and/or bounty hunters? Last week, we heard the (totally implausible but not impossible) rumor that Michael Fassbender was being sought for Boba Fett. Then we heard a plausible rumor that ‘Black Orphan’ star Tatiana Maslany was cast as the female lead. And then we heard the far more concrete rumor that newly minted Oscar nominee Felicity Jones has snagged the female lead. But who knows? Maybe there is room in the film for both of them.
The same report that had Jones leading the film also mentioned two more names: Aaron Paul and Edgar Ramirez, two actors so incredibly different that it’s hard to imagine them being up for the same part. Hopefully, neither of them are being considered for a young Han Solo because both, while very good actors, would be hilariously wrong for the part. Plus, a young Han Solo just sounds like a bad idea in general.
J.J. Abrams Talks Big and Rian Johnson Gets Silly
While attending the Visual Effects Society Awards, J.J. Abrams was cornered on the red carpet and grilled about ‘Star Wars.’ While he addressed things like Kylo Ren’s lightsaber (he finds the whole controversy hilarious) and confirmed Rian Johnson’s involvement in ‘Star Wars: Episode 8,’ he ultimately fell back to the topic that has come up time and time again: practical effects. Once again, Abrams insisted that ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ will utilize as little CGI as possible:
I feel like the beauty of this age of filmmaking is that there are more tools at your disposal, but it doesn’t mean that any of these new tools are automatically the right tools. And there are a lot of situations where we went very much old school and in fact used CG more to remove things than to add things.
Later, when Abrams went on stage to accept the Visionary Award, he briefly mentioned his work on the film in typical, Abrams-ian fashion:
Spending the last two years in the world of lightsabers and tie fighters has been absolutely challenging and a dream come true.
While Abrams got big and dramatic in front of crowds while receiving trophies, Rian Johnson took to Twitter to ask for a little ‘Episode 8’ assistance:
We love this man.
The Great Disney/‘Star Wars’ Mind Meld
If that header got under your skin, congratulations: you are a special breed of nerd. But c‘mon, we’re not really here to make ‘Star Trek’ jokes in a ‘Star Wars” column! We are here to quote Disney CEO Bob Iger as he assures stockholders that ‘Star Wars’ is going to make everyone rich!
In a statement that will surprise no one, Iger once again reiterated that ‘Star Wars’ is coming to Disney theme parks and that pretty soon, Jedi Knights will be as omnipresent as Mickey Mouse:
There’s a fair amount of design and development (taking place by the company’s Imagineers) to greatly increase ‘Star Wars” presence in multiple locations around the world….The plans are ambitious so it’s going to take some time for them to be built and opened ... Fairly soon, I’m sure we’ll be ready to go public with some specifics. But it’s safe to say that you’ll see a lot more ‘Star Wars’ at Disney and at Disney parks in the near future.
Disney is notoriously slow when it comes to theme park development (which is why they have such a massive enemy in the lightning-fast Universal Studios), but ‘Star Wars’ is the kind of brand name that should encourage them to hurry the hell up. After all, we are three years into Disney buying Lucasfilm and there is already one film in post, one film about to start shooting, a new comic series, a new TV series and a few, canon novels. The fact that we haven’t heard an official peep about theme park developments is crazy.
However, tourists looking for a ‘Star Wars’ fix will just need to visit the famous Madame Tussauds wax museum in London, which will soon feature a massive exhibit showcasing characters and locations from five of the six movies in the saga. Sorry, ‘Attack of the Clones,’ but you aren’t good enough! Here’s an excerpt from the press release:
Tuesday February 3, 2015. Madame Tussauds London today announced a multi-million pound expansion at its world famous Baker Street attraction, with a major new Star Wars experience due to open in May this year.
Created in close collaboration with Disney and Lucasfilm, Star Wars at Madame Tussauds will be a unique, immersive experience starring extraordinarily life-like wax figures of the favourite heroes and villains of Star Wars Episodes I-VI.
The figures will appear in authentic walk-in sets inspired by key scenes from the movies. Dynamic special effects will add to the immersion, as fans step right into, and star in, some of the most iconic moments in film history.
The 11 featured scenes will be as follows:
- Cross the Trade Federation Bridge (Episode I) into Star Wars by Madame Tussauds
- The dramatic lightsaber duel (Episode I) between Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Maul
- The fiery lava landscape of Mustafar (Episode III) featuring Anakin Skywalker as he lifts his lightsaber in his fateful duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi
- In the cantina bar (Episode IV) with Han Solo
- Tatooine landscape (Episode IV) featuring C-3PO and R2-D2
- The flight deck of the Millennium Falcon (Episode IV) with Chewbacca
- The Death Star protected by two Stormtroopers (Episode IV)
- The swamps of Dagobah (Episode V) featuring Yoda
- ‘I am Your Father’ scene (Episode V) with Darth Vader
- Jabba’s Throne Room (Episode VI) featuring Princess Leia, Jabba the Hutt and Salacious Crumb (and Han Solo frozen in carbon)
- Death Star Throne Room (Episode VI) featuring Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader locked in battle as evil Emperor Palpatine looks on
Only three displays from the prequels? Sounds about right.
Grand Moff Tarkin is Coming to TV
Grand Moff Tarkin, the villainous Imperial leader who met his demise during the original 1977 ‘Star Wars’ is coming to ‘Star Wars Rebels.’ Unfortunately, not even Disney can resurrect the long-dead Peter Cushing, so the role will now be played by Stephen Stanton. Here’s what the article announcing the news has to say about how Tarkin will fit into the show:
Grand Moff Tarkin is one of the best bad guys in the Star Wars universe, and now he will be making his debut on Star Wars Rebels. Stephen Stanton, who voiced Tarkin in The Clone Wars, resumes the role in Rebels‘ Feb. 9 episode, “Call to Action”—and it’s pretty clear that Tarkin is all business.
All this talk of the Jedi re-emerging has Tarkin on edge, but not for the reasons you may think. Grand Moff Tarkin has come to Lothal to deal with the increasing insurgent activity on the planet. As the clips below suggest, Tarkin’s belief—expressed in Star Wars: A New Hope—that the Jedi were all but instinct is one he’s held for quite some time. And he’s not terribly happy to have an Inquisitor who can’t seem to deal with this Jedi “threat.”
Since the character only got one film to shine (and since he was played by a bonafide legend, he shined really brightly), it should be fun to see more of Tarkin. Anyway, here’s how he will look on the show and a clip of him in action:
And finally, the character of Hondo Ohnaka, a fan favorite antihero space prate from ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars,’ will be returning to TV with ‘Star Wars Rebels.’ Considering the character’s popularity, this shouldn’t be too surprising. The news was confirmed by voice actor Jim Cummings:
And I think I'm allowed to tell you I'm back. He'll be back, but we do them so far in advance I don't know when. So you'll just have to watch them all. I do anyway, so what the heck.
So there we go: our first truly direct tie between ‘Star Wars: Rebels’ and ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars.’ In an age where everything can suddenly get stripped out of the canon, that must have a lot of fans breathing a sigh of relief.