WookieeLeaks: The ‘Star Wars: Episode 7′ Trailer, the Newest Villain, and Star Wars: Battlefront
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. Today, the 'Star Wars: Episode 7' trailer may be closer than you think, a potential new villain is teased, and the next huge 'Star Wars' video game gets a release window.
The 'Star Wars: Episode 7' Trailer May be Here Sooner Than You Think
'Star Wars: Episode 7' will wrap up filming within the next couple of weeks and then J.J. Abrams and his team have a year of arduous post-production ahead of them. Surely the last thing Abrams has on his mind is a trailer, right? We probably won't see the first teaser until a few months into 2015, right?
According to the John Williams Fan Network, the legendary composer (who signed on to return to the saga a few months back) was given a fully cut trailer and has already written original music for it. Here's the full news:
A reliable source just said JW received a trailer from JJ Abrams on Monday, Oct 20. JW has already written new Star Wars music to accompany this trailer. This new trailer music will feature new music and will be recorded on November 15 in LA with full orchestra. Still determining if the score will be recorded in London due to advanced age of composer/conductor. 14 hour flight to LA not too kind on 82 year old. This is all a secret and this message will be deleted shortly.
Well, it didn't stay secret for very long.
If this is all true (and we don't see why a John Williams fan site would go out of its way to lie about this) we can probably expect to see the first teaser trailer for 'Star Wars: Episode 7' by Christmas. In fact, we'll call it right now: the trailer will be attached to Disney's big Christmas release 'Into the Woods.' Because why not draw hordes of 'Star Wars' fans to your slightly risky fairy tale musical?
Spin-Offs and Rumors and Other Updates
We still have no idea what 'Godzilla' director Gareth Edwards' upcoming 'Star Wars' spin-off is even about, but we do know that the project has landed its cinematographer. In an interview with Collider, Greg Fraser confirmed that he's set to shoot the film, but couldn't say anything else because he's signed his life away to LucasFilm:
I’m doing a f***ing Star Wars movie, which is like – I don’t know about you but Star Wars is like my first film love, do you know what I mean?… Gareth is doing a standalone film. Of course I do know some specifics, but it’s obviously something I’ve signed my kidneys away for.
You've surely seen Fraser's work before. As the director of photography on projects like 'Zero Dark Thirty,' 'Snow White and the Huntsman,' 'Let Me In' and the upcoming 'Foxcatcher,' Fraser has proven himself a force to be reckoned with across all genres. he's an excellent fit for Edwards' Bob Fett movie. Uh, we mean Edwards' 'Untitled Star Wars Spin-Off,' which will arrive on December 16, 2016.
Although concrete plot details from 'Star Wars: Episode 7' are as rare as a Jedi post-Order 66, we do know that key scenes were shot on the island of Skellig Michael in Ireland. Rumors have flown fast and furious about actually goes down on this gorgeous, ancient an mysterious location (it's probably a villain's lair of some kind), but we've now learned that the initial production had to be scaled down significantly. According to the Irish Examiner, the production was kept on a tight leash to prevent them from disturbing the area:
Heritage Minister Heather Humphreys has revealed that the Star Wars shoot on Sceilig Mhichíl was only allowed to proceed after the film firm lodged significantly scaled-down proposals for the shoot.
The scaled-down proposals included a 90% reduction in helicopter activity in response to concerns for the protected bird population on the island.
Ms Humphreys said the initial filming proposals raised concern with respect to the potential impact of the activities on the Special Protection Area for birds at Sceilig Mhichíl.
Ms Humphreys pointed out that “the activities of the film crew were supervised at all times by personnel from the Office of Public Works and my department’s National Monuments and National Parks and Wildlife Services. A condition of the consent was that the salary costs and expenses of NPWS staff were charged to the filming company”.
A spokeswoman for her department said: “There was no charge for the use of the island,” adding that the “economic and sectoral value of Star Wars shooting in Ireland is incalculable”.
The final note there is interesting. If Abrams shoots in enough practical locations, he could generate an entire new industry of 'Star Wars' tourism across England and Ireland. Just look at what happened to New Zealand after 'Lord of the Rings'!
We may not know exactly what was shot at Skellig Michael, but we do know that at least one major 'Star Wars: Episode 7' action scene was shot on IMAX cameras. Buried in an article about how Christopher Nolan utilizes IMAX in 'Interstellar' is an interesting little nugget of information. It seems that it was Nolan's use of the format that convinced Abrams to shoot segments of his film in the massive format, which, when utilized correctly, can produce stunning results. Extrapolate whatever you desire from the quote below:
Nolan has helped convince other top directors, such as J.J. Abrams and Michael Bay, to embrace the company, giving the megascreen format an injection of cool. Shooting in Imax gives their films a stamp of quality with the fanboys who can make or break a comicbook epic or space opera.
But there are drawbacks. The cameras, particularly those for film, are large and loud. They’re great for action sequences and epic battles, but problematic for intimate scenes.
“The benefits outweigh the headache of shooting on Imax cameras,” says Abrams, who used them for a single sequence in “Star Wars.” “The opportunity to have an action sequence for this movie done in Imax’s natural format was too delicious an idea to pass up. As a filmgoer, it’s something I want to see.”
The last time we heard from Benedict Cumberbatch, it was looking very likely that he'd be signing on to play 'Doctor Strange' for Marvel. But before that, he was rumored to be playing a villain in 'Star Wars: Episode 7.' Now, prepare for those rumors to get reignited again, because the 'Sherlock' star has admitted to visiting the set, where he surely filmed a super-secret cameo as a villain! Or just hung out because he's worked with Abrams before and just wanted to see what's up. But don't ask for details. He's not talking:
‘I went to the set,’ he admitted. ‘It was incredible’ – before hastily telling the talk show host: ‘I probably shouldn’t be saying these things.’
Anyway, here's a video where Cumberbatch does a pretty funny Jar Jar Binks impression.
Could This be Another Look at the 'Star Wars: Episode 7' Villain?
Another piece of leaked 'Star Wars: Episode 7' concept art hit the internet this week and you should proceed cautiously. Like the massive rumors that we skimmed around a few weeks ago, this may very well be something that you simply do not want to know. We'll avoid addressing the Big Stuff, but if you're spoiler sensitive, please do yourself a favor and skip to the next section.
You're still here? Let's do this.
The art initially popped up on a 'Star Wars' fan forum and it obviously depicts a villain because he's dressed in black and has his face covered by a menacing, robotic mask. However, the real object of note is is the lightsaber in his hands, which has the hilt of a broadsword. Yep, this lightsaber has gone fully medieval.
And, like every responsibly fan, we took the image with a grain of salt. And then Indie Revolver, the site responsible for some of the biggest 'Star Wars: Episode 7' leaks so far, piped up to say the art is definitely from the production and that this design has made its way into the final film:
Star Wars Underworld has posted a new image that was anonymously posted to an imageshack account purporting to be a piece of concept art from Episode VII of a villain holding a very strange looking lightsaber. I respect their hesitation to claim any authenticity related to the image – it’s nice to see some restraint with Star Wars news on the internet.
However, I can confirm that not only is this legitimate production art but that this particular concept made its way through pre-production and into the film. This character and his lightbroadsword have filmed scenes in England.
Never one to be left out, Making Star Wars chimed in with what they know about this design/character, too:
The mask on what I have seen differs from the Star Wars Underworld mask. The mark is more like a crusader knight. Just a shiny red metallic mask with a single visor straight across the front. Basically the red mask is like a helmet with a faceplate and visor that is a thin black line. His lightsaber is red, not orange like some depictions we have seen of bad guys in the past. He looks like Darth Revan mixed with the Emperor’s Royal Guards from the previous six Star Wars films.
If this character design is directly related to the Rumors That Will Not Be Named from awhile back, then we're looking at something very, very cool. Just be careful in the internet minefield, 'kay?
The New Star Wars: Battlefront Reboot Will Be Here Soon-ish
The cross section of people who like 'Star Wars' and people who play video games is huge, so the news of a new Star Wars: Battlefront was greeted with open arms and cheers of joy earlier this year. And then we heard nothing for a good long time. And then, Electronic Arts tweeted:
Yep, they're going to release it just in time to capitalize on 'Star Wars: Episode 7.' Cheeky, guys. Smart. But cheeky.
Anyway, a tiny storm of internet outcry occurred when it was revealed that the game will be primarily a first person shooter, following in the footsteps of the other games developed by DICE. However, as cooler heads have pointed out, the original Star Wars: Battlefront games offered players the opportunity to swap between first and third person views, so it's likely that the new one will, too. Selling this thing as a FPS makes perfect financial sense. Have you seen the sales numbers for Halo and Call of Duty?
Pretty Cool 'Star Wars Rebels' Stuff
If you missed the extended version of the 'Star Wars Rebels' pilot that aired a few days back, the internet has got you covered. The new opening scene, which features Jason Isaac's Inquisitor conversing with James Earl Jones' Darth Vader, is online. The quality isn't great, but it's better than nothing:
Elsewhere, it was revealed that voice actors Sam Witwer and Andrew Kishino have joined 'Star Wars Rebels,' which is only a big deal if you realize that they also lent their voices to various characters in 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars.' Naturally, their casting has fans wondering if any of their old characters will return of it they've been hired because they're professionals who do various different voices for a living. We suspect the latter, but the former is entirely possible.
That same link also has details about upcoming characters and storylines, so if you want to know what to expect in the first season of the show, read on:
Hera and Kanan are in contact with a man named Fulcrum. Fulcrum is a codename. The crew members of the starship Ghost do not know about Fulcrum and this leads to some trust issues down the road.
The interesting thing about Fulcrum is he is in contact with the various rebel cells throughout the galaxy. He is bringing them intelligence, supplies, and viable targets. It is not immediately clear if there is a connection between Fulcrum and Bail Organa at this point in the early stages of the Galactic Civil War or not.
This path takes the crew of the Ghost down a dangerous journey where they eventually learn about the Empire’s five year plan for the outer rim territories. The crew gets titillating information from a Rodian with a Lobot styled head device on which contains information on Ezra’s parents as well.
In a brutally honest interview, Ewan McGregor made it very clear about what he thinks about 'Star Wars' "fans" who beg him for autographs:
I don’t have any experience with them. I’ve never been to one of the conventions. The people I meet are the f–kers who want me to sign Star Wars photos so they can sell them on the Internet or the people at premieres who are crushing children against barriers to get me to sign their f–king picture of Obi-Wan Kenobi. They’re not fans – they’re parasitical lowlifes and f–king wankers.
A new book about the costumes of the original 'Star Wars' trilogy has released a trailer. Yes, a trailer for a book:
Fantasy Flight Games has posted a new preview of their upcoming 'Star Wars: Imperial Assault' board game and out wallets are feeling lighter already.
And finally, the 'Ex Machina' trailer features two members of the 'Star Wars: Episode 7' cast starring in a 2015 sci-fi movie that's not called 'Star Wars':