This week we've got more from fanboy Kevin Smith, news from the set, what fans can expect to see from Lucasfilm at Comic-Con, the Portland Sea Dogs get into the Star Wars spirit and could our weekly updates do more harm than good?
Smith Reveals More Of His Set Visit
Last week we talked about Kevin Smith’s visit to the set of Star Wars Episode VII, but the man was keeping mum about what he had seen. Well, non disclosure agreement aside, Smith couldn’t keep from showing his true excitement about what he had seen, and in a Q & A session at the Neuchatel International Film Festival in Switzerland revealed a bit of very good news.
“We go to the set and they’re actually shooting,” he told the audience. “I can’t tell you what they were shooting, but what I saw I absolutely loved. It was tactile. It was real. It wasn’t a series of f***ing green screens and blue screens in which later on digital characters would be added. It was there. It was happening.”
“I saw old friends that I haven’t seen since my childhood, I saw uniforms; I saw artillery that I haven’t seen since I was a kid. I saw them shooting an actual sequence in a set that is real – I walked across the set; there were explosions – and it looked like a shot right out of a f***ing Star Wars movie.”
For die hard fans totally disappointed with the CGI heavy prequel trilogy, this is the best news. He also took note of the care director J.J. Abrams is taking to be true to what made the original trilogy the fan favorites that they are.
“So anybody sitting there wondering if he’s going to pull it off – he’s pulling it off,” he said, reassuring fans still wary of the film. “He showed me cut scenes; he showed me sequences, images, pictures. I cried, and I hugged that guy. And I’m sure as I was crying and hugging on him that he was thinking, ‘time is money,’ because they’re making a movie. But he got it. He was very flattered.”
Episode VII In IMAX
— Bad Robot (@bad_robot) July 8, 2014
News that scenes from the upcoming Episode VII would be shot in IMAX came in the form of yet another subtle tweet from Bad Robot. The IMAX format, which has a taller aspect ratio than standard film, allows for grander sweeping views, and while it has not been announced whether or not the entire film will be shot in this format it is certainly exciting to know that when tickets go on sale for Episode VII in IMAX, you’re going to get your money’s worth.
Two new cast members have been announced. American actress Crystal Clarke and British actor Pip Andersen. The two new additions were chosen in one of the many open casting calls held for the movie in an effort to carry on the tradition of Star Wars films featuring little known actors.
“The Star Wars universe has always been about discovering and nurturing young talent and in casting Episode VII we wanted to remain absolutely faithful to this tradition,” said Lucasfilm president and producer of the film, Kathleen Kennedy on the announcement of the addition. “We are delighted that so many traveled to see us at the open casting calls and that we have been able to make Crystal and Pip a part of the film.”
Clarke, an American actress, has been studying acting in Glasgow, Scotland and will appear alongside Pierce Brosnan in The Moon and the Sun in 2015. While this will be a breakout role for them both, Pip Anderson has also made a name for himself as a professional freerunner. Freerunning, also called parkour, is a highly athletic sport that involves moving across obstacles using the environment and ones own momentum.
Anderson’s athletic talents may well come into play in his new role since they are, apparently, already pretty Jedi.
While there will be no Episode VII panel at the massive convention next week in San Diego, Lucasfilm and Disney still have plenty of Star Wars for fans. Lucasfilm released their scheduled panels list on Starwars.com. Fans will have a sneak peek at the new Star Wars: Rebels series for Disney XD, and the chance to make some Star Wars origami with origami master and author Chris Alexander. Two panels, one from Hasbro and one on Star Wars collectibles, will focus on the toys and merchandise fans can expect to see on the market. Several panels will also cover the writing and technical aspects of the films. The panels won’t be the only Star Wars action at the con, as the cosplay in attendance will no doubt include an appearance by members of the 501st as well as other fans bringing their fandom to life.
The Portland Sea Dogs Get in the Spirit
This is a team that knows what they are doing. When the time came to choose their special jerseys for their upcoming Star Wars Night: Revenge of the Sith-Teenth on August 16, they picked a winner – Chewbacca.
The event will include characters from the film courtesy of local fan groups Alderaan Base and the Maine chapter of the Mandalorian Mercs. The Double-A Affiliate of the Boston Red Sox will auction off the autographed jerseys after the game to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Too Much Star Wars? Is That Possible?
Time Magazines Lily Rothman thinks so. In a piece called “Let’s Stop Talking About Casting News” she makes an eloquent plea to the general audience that there be some balance. While the original trilogy appeared on the landscape of film with a mostly unknown cast, Episode VII is already in the limelight, and Rothman fears that may diminish the experience when fans finally take their theater seats. Rothman does concede that some of the information being reported on has value, the newsworthy reports regarding Harrison Ford’s Injury among others, but points out the danger of backlash from over-saturation.
While one would agree that there doesn’t need to be a story about every aspect of the films creation, fans of the Star Wars universe have read up on the goings-on of all things Star Wars before there was a new hope. Now, with so much promise for the franchise to return anew, it is hard not to get excited over every bit of news. Discovering the wicked parkour skills of Pip Anderson sends the imagination into flights of Jedi fancy, and imaging Gwendoline Christie’s commanding presence on the big screen is enough to send one into a fan tizzy.
Rothman could be right. As December 2015 draws closer and we learn more and more about Episode VII. As we shake the proverbial gift to see what is inside, we may set ourselves up for disappointment. Rothman references Jar Jar Binks, though from the looks of what we have seen it seems that what we can expect from Episode VII is far and above what we got with Jar Jar. What do you think of the latest news? Let us know in the comments section or join the discussion on the GEEK Facebook page!