WookieeLeaks: 'Star Wars: Episode 7' Resumes Filming as a Familiar Villain is Revealed

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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, 'Star Wars: Episode 7' resumes filming, an old bad guy prepares a comeback, and 'Star Wars Rebels' reveals a new clip.

The Long Inernational Nightmare is Over: 'Star Wars: Episode 7' Has Resumed Filming

After two months of everyone on the internet wondering what was going to happen in the wake of Harrison Ford's bizarre injury, 'Star Wars: Episode 7' has resumed filming. As you may recall, some early rumors suggested that Ford's leg, the victim of some kind of Millennium Falcon mishap, was shattered beyond recognition and would need six months of rehab and multiple surgeries. But nah, Ford was up and about in now time and was seen at the premiere of 'The Expendables 3' walking with a minor limp. He's a tough old guy.

And honestly, that's all the news that's fit to print. The production did ultimately take two weeks off and the shooting schedule was altered to accommodate Ford's healing, but the general vibe in the air seems to be "Well, that could have been a lot worse." In any case, the production is back on track and we're back to knowing absolutely nothing about the film, its plot and its characters. Way to go, J.J. Abrams!

We kid because we love!

Although we still don't know many concrete details about 'Star Wars: Episode 7,' this past week saw some more interesting speculation from those in the know. Badass Digest (which has been breaking 'Star Wars' rumors left and right) has a wonderful essay about learning to love the series after 15 years of prequel nonsense. It's an excellent read that should ignite the zeal of even the most lapsed fan, but here's the part that's actually newsworthy:

“We’re going to redefine longform storytelling,” a Lucasfilm employee boasted to me, and I believe it. For the first time in franchise history, the arc of the new trilogy is planned out in advance. They’re taking this story someplace, not just picking up the loose ends and figuring out where to go next with each new film. Even with the Prequels, which had a predetermined ending, Lucas was kind of making it up as he went along.

That longform vision alone is exciting. But what’s more, they’re going to weave this story through cartoons and books and comics, making every piece of side story count. Star Wars has too long been a central series of movies surrounded by absolutely disposable books, comics and games. No more. You won’t have to know that stuff to follow the main story, but if you do know that stuff you’re going to be rewarded. As a nerd I like knowing that stuff, and I like knowing it counts."

That's interesting and intimidating in equal measure. If Disney and Lucasfilm are pursuing the Marvel Studios model of making sure everything is connected, it's certainly going to lead to obsessive nerds like us checking out every comic, book and show they release. But more importantly, this is their chance to snag more casual fans. The extended universe (may it rest in peace) was intimidating and overextended, a black hole that newbies simply refused to go near. This could be the start of something special -- an expanded 'Star Wars' universe that's actually inviting and, well, not completely impenetrable.

Have We Already Met the Big Bad of 'Star Wars: Episode 7'?

Although this was one of the quietest weeks in some time for major, game-changing 'Star Wars' news, one new rumor raised the eyebrows of fans all over the internet ... mainly because it sounds a little too fan-fiction-y to believe. It involves the return of a familiar villain and, well, this is your chance to turn around if you want to avoid spoilers.

Ready? Okay.

According to the folks at Latino Review, the Big Bad of 'Star Wars: Episode 7' (and 'Episode 8' and 'Episode 9') is none other than Emperor Palpatine, who supposedly perished at the end of 'Return of the Jedi.' Here you go:

Two independent sources have recently written to us to confirm something we had heard back when production first began. Even though Star Wars: Episode VII (as well as the following two sequels) will feature its share of new villains, the person pulling the strings, the real puppet master, the big bad of the trilogy is none other than Emperor Palpatine.

Could he be a force ghost? A cyborg? A clone? A cyborg clone played by Adam Driver? A cyborg clone played by Adam Driver possessed by the ghost of Palpatine? Who knows?! In any case, expect this incarnation of the character to not be what you expect:

My source told me that The Emperor "100%" will appear in Star Wars Episode VII and VIII. Don't look for confirmations from this from Ian Mcdiarmid, because he's not portraying the Emperor this time.

It involves Adam Driver, doesn't it? We knew it!

'Star Wars Rebels' Unleashes a New Clip

The past few weeks have seen the arrival of a series of 'Star Wars: Rebels' "shorts," three-minute clips offering extended looks at the cast of the upcoming animated series. Now that the more intrinsically "cool" characters are out of the way, we can get to guys like Zeb, AKA, the big weird aliens that all of the young boys are going to love more than the actual heroes.

Anyway, here's Zeb's little showcase, which shows off his innate talent to, uh, commit mass Stormtrooper murder.

More 'Star Wars' Comics News

Marvel

We knew that Marvel was planning a bunch of brand new 'Star Wars' comics for 2015 and that older issues were going to be collected into a new omnibus, but it looks like that's just the top of the iceberg. The next announced collection will compile comics from all over the past 35 years, telling the story of the Empire in the years directly following the events of 'Star Wars: Episode III.'

Here's the official statement on the book:

Let the dark times begin! Marvel welcomes Star Wars to the Epic Collection program, with this first volume of a series focusing on the years that follow Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith! After the end of the Clone Wars, the Republic has fallen and Palpatine exerts his ruthless grip on his new Galactic Empire. Now, the few Jedi that remain must decide whether to hold true to their faith, or abandon it completely in the face of a brutal purge — one carried out by the new Dark Lord of the Sith. Rise, Darth Vader!

“We’re thrilled to be bringing our innovative Epic Collections to a galaxy far, far away,” says Marvel SVP sales & marketing David Gabriel. “We’ll be bouncing around to different periods of Star Wars history with each Epic Collection, constructing one huge tapestry, collecting full unbroken runs of all the greatest Star Wars comics from the past 35 years.”

Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: The Empire Vol. 1 TPB will offer a new way for fans to collect and read iconic Star Wars stories across the past 35 years of published titles. These oversized, self-contained color collections will bring the adventures of the Rebellion, the Galactic Empire and more to the masses with exciting new Epic Collections.

Fun and Games in a Galaxy Far, Far Away

When Disney purchased Lucasfilm, everyone knew it was only a matter of time before 'Star Wars' started to permeate every corner of their empire. First, there was the new comics. And then, the new theme park plans. And now, it's looking like the cast of the 'Star Wars' saga will join Marvel heroes, Pixar characters and other Disney icons as playable characters in the Disney Infinity video game series. Here are the details, courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter:

In an interview with Newsarama, John Blackburn, CEO of Disney Infinity studio Avalanche Software, and Infinity executive producer John Vignocchi dropped a heavy hint that fans can expect characters and concepts from Star Wars to be added to the game in 2015.

Teasing future developments for the game, Blackburn told Vignocchi, “I like your other tease better. We can talk about the future, but that’s far, far away.” Vignocchi replied, “2015 is not so far, far away anymore, is it?” (For those who don’t see the Star Wars connection, you might want to refamiliarize yourself with the very first words of each movie. To be fair, it’s not like they could’ve gone with “long time ago.”)

Judging by the release schedules for the original Infinity and Infinity 2.0 — August 2013 and September 2014, respectively — it seems likely that a Star Wars addition to the platform would headline a theoretical Disney Infinity 3.0 at some point in the late summer or early fall of the year. But let’s be honest: A year already seems too long to wait for the chance to pit both Lilo and Stitch against an evil Sith Lord of your choice.

However, there are far more exciting things on the video game horizon for 'Star Wars' fans. A demo for an independently made lightsaber game has made its way to YouTube, but this is no ordinary Jedi simulator. Oh, no. This is a 'Star Wars' game designed for the Oculus Rift, the virtual reality set-up that many think will revolutionize the gaming industry as we know it.

This may not be an official, Lucasfilm-approved game, but you know something like this is probably right around the corner.

Fine, You Win: Here are the 'Star Wars' Ice Bucket Challenges

Ugh. You knew it was coming. Fine. But we're only doing this because it's a slow news week. Here are the cast members of 'Star Wars: Episode 7' (and a few special guests) participating in the ice bucket challenge.

http://youtu.be/-_yJnqgiEBA

 

And One More Thing...

Apparently, this is what the inside of Darth Vader's helmet looks like. Enjoy!

Imgur
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