WookieeLeaks: A New Director, ‘Star Wars: Episode 7′ Plot Rumors, New Character Details and More
ScreenCrush’s WookieLeaks 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, Rian Johnson signs on to continue the saga, a possible plot for the new film is revealed, and the new cast gets the LEGO treatment.
Rian Johnson Will Direct 'Star Wars: Episode 8' and Write 'Star Wars: Episode 9'
In news that tore through the internet like some of heavy handed metaphor, it was announced that Rian Johnson, the director of great films like 'Brick,' 'The Brothers Bloom' and 'Looper,' was going to helm 'Star Wars: Episode 8.' In addition to his directing duties, he is also going to pen the script for 'Episode 8' and 'Episode 9,' which he may direct as well.
This is big, huge, crazy news for a number of reasons. First of all, Johnson is one of the most talented young filmmakers working today and the 'Star Wars' franchise will surely be better off for having him in the fold. Second, this is direct confirmation that J.J. Abrams won't be as heavily involved going forward, which lends credence to the rumors that he and Disney haven't been getting along all too well.
But hey, let's focus on the positive. Johnson is a bonafide geek and an amazing storyteller which an eye for character and detail. Not to mention, he once sang Weird Al's 'Yoda' at karaoke and the video ended up on the internet:
Is Harrison Ford's Injury Oscar Isaac's Gain?
Just when you thought "Anklegate" couldn't get any worse, it, uh, did. First, we learned that Harrison's Ford's "sprained ankle" was actually a broken ankle. And, then we learned that his "broken ankle" was actually a broken leg that would require up to six months of healing and rehab. He has already returned to the United States for treatment.
We wish we could paint a clearer picture of how Disney and director J.J. Abrams are going to move forward now, but the truth is that there is so much contradictory information swirling around out there that we don't know exactly what's going on. We do know that Disney really wants 'Star Wars: Episode 7' to meet its 2015 release date, but we also know that Han Solo is reportedly a major part of the film's story and that keeping on schedule could require heavy rewrites.
Which brings us to the nuttiest rumor swirling around the internet. Apparently, one of the ways Disney is considering moving forward by expanding Oscar Isaac's (still mysterious) role, giving him much of the material originally written for Ford. Disney has gone on to say that this is "categorically untrue," but take from that what you will.
Is This the Plot of 'Star Wars: Episode 7'?
If you're curious why losing Harrison Ford for six months would be such a huge, crippling blow to the production, new details about the actual plot of the film will explain why. Jeremy Smith at AICN dropped some previously unknown plot details into his write-up about Ford's injury, saying "Han Solo is pretty much the main character of Episode 7, leading a galaxy-wide search party for Luke Skywalker."
So, while there are a bunch of new actors and characters in the film, it seems that they are following Han Solo's lead as he gallivants across the galaxy in search of his old friend and ally. Why is Luke missing? Why do they need him? Those are still the unanswered questions, but at least now we have a vague idea of the film's plot and can understand why losing Ford is so devastating to a production with so many other cast members.
Interestingly, the fact that Oscar Isaac is being floated around as the man to pick up Ford's slack has started a (completely unconfirmed and entirely speculative) rumor that he'll be playing Han Solo's son. Just take that with a fistful of salt.
New Character Rumors Emerge
While fans wonder about Harrison Ford's leg and contemplate the identity of Oscar Isaac's character, Making Star Wars claims to know a little about the characters played by John Boyega and Daisy Ridley in the film. The site emphasizes that this may not be true, but they also seem fairly confident about it all. Like with all 'Star Wars' rumors, proceed slowly and cautiously.
The actual character names are still unknown, so they are referred to as Thomas and Rachel, the names that were on the audition sides:
We have heard that Thomas starts the film on the side of the villains. Thomas is shot down over Tatooine and he is injured from the crash. The things we heard from Abu Dhabi about a crashed ship is rumored to have been Thomas’ fighter. Rachel rescues him from the wreckage and the elements of the sandy planet. Over the course of their “unlikely pairing,” Thomas sees the reality of the universe and he defects from the side of the villains and decides to help Rachel for saving his life. However, things are not easy for the character because unlike most of the rebels we’ve met in the series, none were traitors, they were always on the side of right from the beginning. However, it appears Rachel and Thomas have an innocent flirtation in their first film with hints at romance in the future episodes.
I often hear Thomas is a Jedi in the film, but I am beginning to think he might start that journey midway through Star Wars: Episode VII, which is why he has a lightsaber according to many reports. We have never heard Thomas has a lightsaber during the Abu Dhabi sequences, but we have heard set reports from Pinewood that he fights with two hands on his saber, without much of the prequel style flash of a one handed Obi-Wan Kenobi. It makes me wonder if Thomas and Rachel’s characters discover they share the same propensity for the Force that has so far been untapped until they meet a certain old Jedi in the second act of the film.
So, take from that what you will. It all certainly sounds plausible, but it's just as likely a big pile of lies. We shall see.
Elsewhere, Latino Review claims to have a scoop on the bad guys of 'Episode 7,' saying that our heroes will be facing off against Mandalorian mercenaries, possible employed by "Sith witches." If so, that's actually pretty exciting news. The war-like Mandalorians are a big part of the larger 'Star Wars' mythos, but the films have yet to deal with them directly. After years of Stormtroopers and droids who existed solely to get cut down by the heroes, it should be interesting to see bad guys who are actually capable in a fight.
And finally, let's address the rumor that Temuera Morrison is going to play Boba Fett in an upcoming spin-off film. That rumor comes from IMDB, which anyone can edit, so it's probably not true. We'd put good money on it not being true. Not to mention the fact that Morrison played Jango Fett in the prequel films and the new movies are trying to put as much distance between themselves and those nightmares as possible.
More Actors...and Tom Cruise?!
In news that isn't all that exciting, model Cara Delevingne is supposedly seeking a role in 'Star Wars: Episode 7.' In slightly more interesting news, she's doing it with the encouragement of Domhnall Gleeson, her friend and current 'Episode 7' cast member. In news that's actually kinda' interesting, the same report says that there are still "plenty" of roles left to be cast in the film. Of course, this all comes from a tabloid, to feel free to disregard all of this.
Speaking of tabloids, J.J. Abrams met with Tom Cruise in London and everyone assumed that he was looking to cast him in 'Episode 7.' It's more likely that Cruise just wanted to say hi to his 'Mission: Impossible III' director. After all, it's tough to imagine a star as huge as Cruise meshing with the 'Star Wars' universe and Abrams of all people should know that.
'Star Wars' Continues Its Attempt to Take Over Television
While the new movie is wrapped and the turmoil and the broken bones and the rumor, the small screen versions of the saga seem to be doing quite well.
First, 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars' took home two Daytime Emmys, winning for Best Individual Achievement in Animation and Outstanding Special Class Animated Program. The show may be coming to an end, but at least it's going out with a few trophies.
As for 'Star Wars Rebels' (the show replacing 'The Clone Wars'), a new French trailer gives us our first look at the series' take on Obi-Wan Kenobi, who appears as a hologram to our cast of characters. In a series that has otherwise built a completely new cast, it looks like he'll act as our sole connection to the known 'Star Wars' universe. Pardon the crummy video quality:
Oh, and get ready: 'Star Wars Rebels' merchandise is coming. And if there's one thing Disney knows how to do, it's convince your kids that they need lunch boxes emblazoned with their characters.
Really Cool Tidbits That Don't Fit Anywhere Else
Remember that instantly famous photo of the assembled 'Star Wars: Episode 7' cast reading the script? Well, it's been recreated in LEGO.
Speaking of 'Star Wars' things that have no right being cute being made cute, this absolutely adorable take on Luke and the Wampa from 'The Empire Strikes' back sill be available at Comic-Con. Uh, can you get us one?
And while we're on the subject of 'Star Wars' toys that will be available at Comic-Con, make sure this "vintage" AT-AT driver stays on your radar. "Digitally scanned" and reproduced in a large format, this is the massive version of the old Kenner toy that you never knew you wanted. You just need to hand over $80.
Meanwhile, someone with a little too much time on their hands decided to make a new trailer for the original trilogy, structuring it like the new trailer for 'Guardians of the Galaxy.' And it works!
If you're not into clever YouTube-friendly trailer recuts, you're probably into videos that offer amazing behind-the-scenes looks at the making of 'The Empire Strikes Back.' Just when you thought you couldn't admire the craft that went into 'The Empire Strikes Back' more, this video pops up, showing us the painstaking labor involved in bringing the Imperial assault on Echo Base to life.