ScreenCrush’s WookieLeaks is a weekly roundup of everything 'Star Wars'! From '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, look ahead in to the next year of ‘Star Wars,’ ponder Aaron Paul joining the universe, and preview Frank Oz’s role on ‘Star Wars Rebels.’

Looking Ahead Into 2015

Well, here we are: we are now officially living in the same year as the next ‘Star Wars’ movie. If we’re all lucky, we will survive until December 18.

Now that ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ is less than a year away, we can expect Disney to start loosening the top of J.J. Abrams’ Mystery Box and start to actually market this thing. After all, a recent poll found the film topping ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ and the final ‘Hunger Games’ movie as the most anticipated release of 2015. The last time people were this excited for a movie was 1999. Hopefully, history plays out a little differently this time around.

So, how is Disney going to start unleashing more ‘Star Wars’ upon the populace? There will be posters and trailers and commercial partnerships, but it seems like Disney has one eye on those tricky Millennials. You know, the young folks who weren’t alive when the original trilogy was released and may need to be reminded of why they need to be excited for a new movie that is nothing like the prequels. Why else would they hire a company to star producing short-form web content all about the ‘Star Wars’ universe? Here are the details from Bloomberg:

Maker Studios, the Web video network owned by Walt Disney Co. (DIS), will produce short-form shows about everything from Star Wars fashion to games to help its new parent promote the next film in the space-adventure series.

Maker, the largest operator of channels on YouTube, has secured sponsors to help fund the shows, said people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is scheduled to open in theaters on Dec. 18, 2015.

The Star Wars package underscores why Disney bought Maker for $500 million in May. The Maker series will help the Burbank, California-based company boost awareness for Star Wars by employing online personalities already popular among viewers who weren’t born when the first film, A New Hope, opened in 1977.

For the average American male above the age of 30, ‘The Force Awakens’ is an easy sell. But Disney doesn’t just want their money. Disney wants their kids’ money and those kids live on YouTube and utilize social media like a second language. As un-hip as a video series about ‘Star Wars’ fashion sounds (ugh), this is indicative of the larger plan to sell the movie. Seasoned fans should expect to see a lot of marketing content in the next 11 and a half months that make them feel very old.

Meanwhile, Disney CEO Bob Iger was the subject of a profile in Fortune magazine and he posed for a picture in front of the Millennium Falcon. The ship itself looks just like the old hunk of junk we already love, but it sure is satisfying to see it back and ready for action.


Aaron Paul Wants to be Part of That Rumored Han Solo Spin-Off ... Maybe

Everyone assumes that Gareth Edwards’ first ‘Star Wars’ spinoff is a tale of bounty hunters, and everyone seems to think that Josh Trank’s second spinoff is the story of young Han Solo. This rumor has been floating around for so long now that everyone has basically accepted it as fact. After all, it’s the kind of job that Trank, who seems interested in genre movies about angsty young people, would be attracted to. Until Disney says something official, we’re running with the assumption that there is at least some truth to this Young Han business.

A new report from Making Star Wars (whose track record has as many hits as misses) doubles down on all of this. Here’s what they say in a nutshell:

  • One of the spinoffs is all about Han Solo.
  • The actual filming of the spinoff will overlap with Rian Johnson’s ‘Star Wars: Episode 8.’
  • The film’s code name is ‘Luminac Industrial Goods.’
  • ‘Breaking Bad’ star Aaron Paul wants to be involved in some capacity.

Naturally, that final item is the most interesting tidbit. The article specifies that Paul may not actually play a younger Han Solo, which is probably a good thing. He’s a little too old for a proper origin story and he completely lacks Harrison Ford’s confident swagger. However, we could see him as a weasely smuggler who teaches Han the ropes or even a sensitive, whiny bad guy.

Paul is a good actor who can be great with the right material and if he wants to leap into ‘Star Wars,’ we can only welcome him aboard. We already know he’s a fan since he played Luke Skywalker in Jason Reitman’s live reading of ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ from a few weeks ago. Still, it’s important to remember that we are talking about a movie that doesn’t officially exist, which means that this casting rumor could be a massive load of Bantha crap. Hell, we still aren’t sold on the mere idea of a young Han Solo movie. So take this with the appropriate amount of salt and cynicism.

‘Star Wars Rebels’ Shows Off Frank Oz’s Yoda

A few weeks ago, we learned that Frank Oz was returning to voice Yoda in ‘Star Wars Rebels,’ making him the third original trilogy actor to pop up in the new animated series (after James Earl Jones and Anthony Daniels). We also learned that Yoda’s presence on the show would be subtle, with the wise Jedi master offering guidance from his exile on Dagobah.

Yoda will make his debut on the show in the upcoming episode “The Path of the Jedi,” but our first glimpse of his return is already online in an official clip. Feel free to give it a watch:

While we’re talking about old school things being tied into this new-fangled TV series, Topps has announced that they will be releasing ‘Star Wars Rebels’ trading cards. So put down those video games and start collecting packets of randomized pieces of cardboard, kids!

Cast Members Sidestep Saying Anything Too Interesting

Ah, another week, another round of interviews where the cast of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ deliberately avoids telling us anything interesting out of fear of getting locked up in a Disney prison by a team of merciless lawyers!

First up is Oscar Isaac, a.k.a. Poe Dameron, who says that all of the speculation and theories that fans have developed over the past year are flat-out wrong and that we should be ashamed of ourselves!

Okay, he’s not that harsh, but he does call many of the recent rumors “off-base,” which makes us wonder if we are all really wrong of if he’s just trying to throw us off the scent of the film’s plot. Rememeber when Simon Pegg angrily insisted that Khan wasn’t in ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’? The Internet never forgets.

I can’t speak for the cast and crew, I can just speak for myself, but for me I thought, Don’t you want to wait so you can get the real thing? But it creates excitement for it. I don’t think these little leaks necessarily ruined watching the trailer. And also, the [plot theories] that get that formulated based on these things—they couldn’t be more far off-base.

Isaac also discussed the absurd level of secrecy surrounding the project. Apparently, you could only read the script for ‘The Force Awakens’ in a special room where cameras were watching you at all times. No wonder everyone seems so paranoid whenever they talk about this movie:

You go to the place, and they have a room with cameras and you sit there and read the script. They’re incredibly protective, because nowadays, with however many hundreds of blogs and this and that, people are just ravenous for content. So because of that, there has to be such tight security around it. And it gets in the way of the process a bit, but it’s understandable.

If you think the Man Who Was Llewyn Davis had little to say, just wait until you hear from Warwick Davis! A saga veteran (he was Wicket the Ewok in ‘Return of the Jedi’), Davis played a bit part in ‘The Phantom Menace’ before being invited back for the new film. He seems like more of a good luck charm than an actual actor, but his involvement certainly feels sweet and nice and what-not.

Anyway, since he’s pretty much making a cameo appearance of some kind and not playing a substantial character, Davis didn’t have much to say in a recent interview:

Warwick said: “What I’m most excited by is chance to see members of the old cast in the poster.”

“I’ve been a fan of ‘Star Wars’ ever since the first film ['Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope'] came out in 1977. This just feels like an amazing moment.”

Old cast members on the poster? Scoop?!

Eh. Probably not.

Everything Else

An actual conversation between a young girl and her father on the subject of the “Slave Leia” costume has been set to animation ... and it’s surprisingly funny and endearing and sophisticated.

Yep, someone has finally “sweded” the trailer for ‘The Force Awakens.’ About time, Internet. We were getting concerned that you guys dropped the ball on this one.

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