WookieeLeaks: ‘Star Wars: Episode 7′ Has a Title Now and Mark Hamill’s Beard Contains Many Mysteries
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' finally gets titled, Mark Hamill's beard reveals a new mystery, and new details about Daisy Ridley and John Boyega's characters are revealed.
'Star Wars: Episode 7' is Now 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'
After two years of just calling it 'Star Wars: Episode 7,' the first sequel in the saga since 1983 finally has a title. And it's ... drumroll please ... 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens.' Don't shrug too hard. You may hurt your shoulder.
The title was announced on the official 'Star Wars' social media accounts, which also included an image that we really hope doesn't represent how they're going to be selling the movie. Once again, be careful with your shrugging:
Surely Disney will remember that the original three 'Star Wars' movies used more dynamic fonts for their titles. Surely this is only part of the initial announcement and that everything will look significantly less, well, dull in the future. That title is already a bit of a snooze, so they really need to make it look more exciting on paper.
Anyway, the most surprising thing about this rather generic title is the lack of an "Episode 7." There is no number, no roman numeral, in this title. The why of it is fairly obvious when you consider that Disney is a business first and foremost: they don't want to directly advertise the first six films (which are still owned by Fox) but putting a big fat "VII" on every single poster. Petty? Yep, but this is Hollywood we're talking about.
Plus, this is evidence that Disney is preparing for the long haul with this franchise. By removing the numbers in the titles now, they're ensuring that they won't have to sell "Episode XVII' in a few decades because they just know that will be awkward. Besides, the whole "episode number in the title" thing is a prequel creation. Prior to 1999, everyone only knew 'Star Wars' titles by their subtitles (which were actually their proper title, but whatever). And you know what? Abandoning any tradition created by the prequels is a-okay with us.
And yes, feel free to contribute your own "The Force Needs Its Coffee" jokes in the comments below. You will not be the first person to take a stab at it and you won't be the last.
'The Force Awakens' Finishes Filming (and Everyone Parties)
As 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' wrapped up filming this past week, a letter was sent out to the cast and crew, thanking them for all of their hard work. Since this is the age of the internet, the letter quickly made its way online. Here's what it had to say:
To the Extraordinary Cast and Crew of Episode VII:
It is a true honor and absolute joy to come to set every day and work alongside each of you. Your professionalism, passion and patience is more deeply appreciated than we could ever express. From the deserts of Abu Dhabi, to the Forest of Dean, to the stages of Pinewood, you have risen to every challenge and been as wonderfully kind as you are brilliantly talented. Our ambition here is large, of course, and it must be: we are here to make a film that entertains millions of people, of all ages, for generations. To create an experience people will cherish watching as much as we will cherish having made it, together. How lovely it would be if you had, in addition to your name on the screen, some actual real tangible proof that you were part of it! Here, then, is that proof. Wear it well, wear it healthily, wear it proudly. But, mostly, thank you.
With Love, JJ Abrams Kathleen Kennedy Bryan Burke
The initial tweet that revealed it is long gone, but the image lingers on, forever seared into the internet. It really is a lovely, sincere letter that reflects what a huge cultural event this movie really is, huh? And you can probably buy your own on eBay when crew members start selling them for cold hard cash in the next few weeks.
Naturally, the end of filming was accompanied by a big wrap party for the cast and crew and, as you'd expect, it was a flashy, start-studded affair filled with all kinds of attractive people dressed in snappy, sexy clothing. After all, this was a party powered by Disney money and Disney money, as you know, can afford all kinds of revelry and debauchery.
You can hit the link above for paparazzi pictures of very tired actors trying to look dapper as they make their way into the party, but the biggest celebrity at the shindig was captured on John Boyega's Instagram:
You just know that droid parties hard. Anyway, the party also featured pyrotechnics because Disney has f--- you money and the can afford to throw a better party than you. Once again, Boyega gives us a peek at the celebration:
Right on cue, C3PO himself, Anthony Daniels, tweeted some mighty big words about the upcoming sequel:
And you'd think that was it. The grand conclusion to filming. After all, how else can you top fireworks and Anthony Daniels comparing the whole thing to the best film in the series? You can't! It's the grand climax that such a production demands!
Except that filming wasn't actually done. The wrap party was held a few days early, but production actually concluded on November 6, nearly a week after the party. Sure, most of the cast wrapped after the celebration, but a few key names hung around London for a little while longer, finishing up a few final scenes. Among them was Mark Hamill who...
Well, this actually deserves its own sub-heading.
The Mysterious Case of Luke Skywalker's Beard (And Other Possible Spoilers)
On the day of the wrap party, Mark Hamill sent out a series of tweets and Instagram photos of himself and his wife and the man who is Luke Skywalker was clean shaven for the first time in a year. The scruffy beard that he grew for the film was gone, which everyone assumed was because he was done with filming and could go back to eating junk food and voicing the Joker until 'Star Wars: Episode 8' called him up. Evidence:
But, we now know that Hamill was one of the actors still filming scenes in the week after the party concluded. So put on your thinking hats, boys and girls, and start theorizing as to why Hamill would shave his beard before he was done filming. There are a few obvious guesses. There could be various flashback scenes detailing Luke's adventures in between 'The Return of the Jedi' and 'The Force Awakens.' Also likely: Luke ditches the facial hair by the end of the film, coming out of hiding to look like his old self once again.
That second theory makes a lot of sense if the latest rumor about Luke's status in the new film turns out to be true. If this is legit, consider it a spoiler and move forward with extreme caution. In any case, true or not, it sounds really cool and an exciting angle for the character:
I’m told that in the back story for the film, Luke Skywalker does something amazing with the Force. He’s really powerful, more of “wizard than lightsaber wielding warrior.” Basically, Luke Skywalker has a “Force Unleashed” moment and realizes he might be bad for the universe.The aftermath of that event is difficult for Luke.
Luke Skywalker has become the most powerful Jedi ever, but he doesn’t believe he’s the wisest. He doesn’t want to make the mistake his father made by thinking he knows what’s right for the universe. Skywalker becomes somewhat deranged in his seclusion. He is consumed by his fear that if he should return to “society” his power could be misused, he could be manipulated, and he may accidentally hurt the one’s he loves.
For these reasons, to protect the galaxy and himself, Luke retreats into self-imposed exile for many years. I’m told he can’t always control the power. While he sits in a meditative state, he levitates things unconsciously and he’s not always in complete control and he’s never sure if he’s doing the will of the Force or acting on his own passions. Luke is seeing the past, the present, the future, “old friends long gone” and other things that prey upon his sanity.
You can hit the link above for additional details, but you just know that step one in recovering from being a powerful psychic hermit is getting rid of your power psychic hermit beard. Just saying.
Costumes, Cameos and Other Possibly Fabricated Details
And now it's time for our weekly batch of rumor minutiae. As if often the case with 'Star Wars: Episode 7'/'The Force Awakens' rumors, these could be a load of bunk but they could also be legit and hamper your enjoyment of a film that's still 13 months away. Tread lightly! You may just want to scroll down to the next section (weekly batch of)
First, Making Star Wars posted a description of a new droid who will appear in the film. They're unclear if he's a main character or just background, but let's face it: a new droid companion may be necessary. R2-D2 can only be so many places at once. This little guy sounds exactly like the kind of thing Disney can sell to kids come next Christmas:
The droid is barely boot high. The body is probably a little bigger than a basketball. The body is round, of course. The head is probably as big as a cantaloupe. The droid’s body is white and grey. However, the highlight markings are orange. No matter how the design changes, the head features a big black lens for an eye. The head is somewhat similar to a Pit Droid in some concept with Artoo-Detoo markings and features. The head is a dome like that of an Artoo unit in most designs. The neck has a manifold cover that accordions out, but I can’t tell if it can extend its head or not.
And that takes up to something a little more substantial. We know that John Boyega and Daisy Ridley's characters initially meet on her home planet (a desert world that is supposedly not Tatooine), but the circumstances of how they come into contact with one another have been supposedly revealed. Consider this your second spoiler warning, but it involves Ridely's scavenger saving Boyega's Stormtrooper after his TIE Fighter is shot down:
Apparently the Special Forces TIE Fighter is shot down. Almost immediately, scavengers come down on the location. They do not look friendly. They ride mechanical mounts. They’re about the size of a buffalo with a small AT-ST styled head, guns in the same location, but with 4 mini AT-AT legs. Its pretty much a one person AT-AT and they ride them like horses. The riders look like the people we saw as extras in the TMZ photos but two of them have saucer hats, sort of like Embo from The Clone Wars. Speculation: Most likely, Daisy Ridley’s character is flying her quad engined ship near the outpost and shoots at the scavengers (which would explain the reports from extras they were being shot at from the air and were told to run). She probably lands the ship and her smaller transport comes out the back of the shuttle. She and her droid make for the injured pilot.
Speaking of Daisy Ridley, a description of one of the costumes she supposedly wears in the film is now out there and it sounds like she's going to look like quite the badass:
This costume is very much like Padmé’s outfit in Attack of the Clones when she wears the white shawl. However, attached to the white shawl is a white hood that fits like a ninja mask but has a slight tip at the top in the back. She wears black goggles (very much like Han Solo’s in the cut Return of the Jedi sand storm sequence) and her face is covered with a face fitting mask. She extends her right arm out and has a DL-44 “Han Solo” blaster in her hand.
Her pants appear to be very similar to the pants she wears in other sand planet scenes. They’re a bit lighter in color here but they’re tied off at the knees in the same exact way. Her shoes are also brown but they’re just up to her ankles.
And this brings us to the biggest and most spoiler-ish bit of the week, so please only read further if you really want to know as much as possible. If true, this spoils what sounds like a very fun cameo from an actor you really like.
Okay. You still here? Let's do this.
A source has sent a description of an extended scene from the film's first act to Star Wars 7 News and they felt it was legit enough to run with it. If it's something this guy pulled out of thin air then he a pretty decent knack for coming up with fun stuff. The cameo, and how that particular actor is utilized, sounds like a lot of fun. Read on:
There must be some sort of action going on in space above Tatooine, Boyega is a Stormtrooper (this is 100%) his tie is shot down (again perhaps explains the Falcon and X-Wing outside the Cantina). Daisy wearing clothing similar to that of lukes in ANH and rescues Boyega, takes him back to her AT-AT home and he gets a change of clothes (Raggedy clothes as I described from the cantina scene, almost like he had been dragged off the street onto set).
Daisy heads to the Cantina in search of Han with her droid (which is an actual prop pushed along on bars) and Boyega in tow. She arrives is confronted by SIMON PEGG complete in alien prothetics including an enlarged neck, she raises her blaster, he takes it from her and points it back at her “Don’t point a blaster unless you intend to use it”, Chewie comes over “Ha what good is a one armed Wookie”, Chewie rips Peggs arm off and hands Daisy back the gun.
Han arrives (Wearing his iconic outfit minus the waistcoat which is replaced with a thin cut biker style leather jacket) looking flustered, I am guessing he still has the falcon and has possibly returned after whatever was happening in space to cause Boyega to crash, anyhow the owner of the Cantina (Lupita Nyong’o complete with CGI reference dots on her face) shouts “HAN SOLO” too which the entire Cantina stops and turns to Han (A Proper western moment) “You have 25 Bounties on your head” which implies Han is still playing rogue.
Also during the scene Boyega says “Thats when I met you” and “I didn’t want to fight”.
Outside a massive object (could be a ship/planet/moon) is destroyed again pointing towards there being a conflict in the sky, everyone exits the Cantina to watch **** go down.”
I believe him saying “I didn’t want to fight” is about him being a Storm Trooper, maybe he was forced into it by the bad guys/empire, we don’t really know this yet. The feeling is that Daisy and Boyega will fall in love at some point.
The main issues with this story is that we have repeatedly heard that the desert planet is not Tatooine (but that could have been misinformation). Also, the description of Lupita Nyong'o's character doesn't quite line up with the handful of other rumors that are floating around the internet. So take all of this with a massive fistful of salt.
Grab more salt: the same guy says that the film will feature a cameos from Boba Fett's Save 1 and Benedict Cumberbatch, who filmed a tiny role when he visited the set last week. And that Warwick Davis will play a Cantina Musician.
Salt, salt, salt, etc.
Trailer Rumors Float Around Twitter
Last week, we heard that J.J. Abrams had already cut the first teaser trailer for 'The Force Awakens' and that he had sent it out to John Williams to get scored. In the time between then and now, some in-the-know folks took to Twitter to promise that the trailer may be here sooner than we think:
We already suspected that the trailer will be attached to either 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' or 'Into the Woods,' but in any case, it sounds like we'll have our first glimpse at footage before Christmas.
'Star Wars Rebels' Debuts New Clips
In a week filled with all kinds of news about the new film, 'Star Wars Rebels' continued to win over fans and pull in solid ratings. It may be flying under the mainstream radar, but this thing is catnip for fans and their kids. If you want a taste of future catnip, two clips from future episodes have debuted online, so get your fix right here:
Robert Englund is best known for playing the dream-invading murderer Freddy Krueger in the 'Nightmare on Elm Street' series, but in the mid-70s, he read for the role of Han Solo in 'Star Wars' and bombed his audition. Upon returning to his home, he found a friend of a friend crashing on his couch and had a conversation that changed pop culture forever:
I went home and told a little kid that was sleeping on my couch, after a six-pack of Heineken, all about [Star Wars], and his name was Mark Hamill. I said, ‘Hey, Lucas is doing this space movie. Maybe you’re right for it.’ The lead guy’s like a teenager, and Mark was playing teenagers then — Mark was playing high school kids, still. Mark got on the phone to his agent, and I think he went up the next day. He nailed it, and the rest is history.
If you like 'Star Wars' (and you're reading this column, so you do) and you enjoy cool things (and you're reading ScreenCrush, so you do), please note that we're giving away some really cool toys as part of a contest that you can enter right now. Act accordingly.