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Star Wars Roundup: George Lucas Turns 70, Episode VII Officially Starts Filming & Much More!

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It may have been around for more than 35 years, but Star Wars is still making headlines, and here at Geek it is our mission to destroy the Empire and keep you informed with our weekly news roundup!

“Thank the Maker”

star wars strikes back alec guinness george lucas 600x389 Star Wars Roundup: George Lucas Turns 70, Episode VII Officially Starts Filming & Much More!

This week marked the 70th birthday of George Lucas, brain father of the Star Wars Saga, as well as Indiana Jones, and the classic American Graffiti. Born in Modesto CA, Lucas has never strayed too far from home and set up his base of operations not far from there. In 1977, after making a name for himself in Hollywood, and established Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), he turned a script he had written into Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. The film would go on to redefine the term “blockbuster” and revolutionize the genre. Lucas would go on to be one of the most well known names in Hollywood, while raking in a hearty sum for the characters and worlds he created in the Star Wars universe. While fans haven’t always enjoyed the choices Lucas has made, it can be said that the force is strong in this one. Happy Birthday, George.

Disney’s Star Wars Books for Kids

Writer, artist and co-creator of The Spiderwick Chronicles Tony DiTerlizzi has been chosen to bring the story of the Original Star Wars trilogy to the pages of children’s story books. After visits to Lucasfilm and the inspiration of the original concept art used for the original films, not to mention a chance to work with his childhood hero Ralph McQuarrie, DiTerlizzi’s series will be a passion project.

star wars mcquarrieemail Star Wars Roundup: George Lucas Turns 70, Episode VII Officially Starts Filming & Much More!

The first in Disney’s retelling of the original Trilogy ( Disney-Lucasfilm Press)

McQuarrie, who die hard Star Wars fans will know from his work on the actual concept art for the trilogy, died in 2012. Luckily, some of his art was already completed for the project. Instead of trying to add images to the project or change them, it was decided to leave his last work as it was. DiTerlizzi’s job was to tell a story true to what fans already know without access to new art or changes. A fan since he was 8 years old, the project was his way of bringing it back to the basics he loved as a child.

“This is going back to a time before the models and special effects,” he told the Los Angeles Times,” It’s just one person writing out a story and someone with a paintbrush painting visions from that story.”

The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight hits book stores this October.

It’s Official! 

Bad Robot, J.J. Abrams production company, posted this tantalizing image for fans this week

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Bad Robot tweeted this tempting image this week. (Image: Bad Robot)

While some second unit filming has been rumored to be happening in Abu Dhabi and Iceland (Tatooine and Hoth?), this shot marks the first day of primary shooting at Pinewood Studios just outside of London. While fans can hardly wait for more, Bad Robot and Abrams seem to be enjoying the tease. After all, we only have to wait until December 18th, 2015!!!

A wish come true?

Since the release of the digitally tainted…er, remastered versions of the original Star Wars trilogy hit the big screen, hard core fans have been asking one question. Where can I get a copy of the original? With their mistakes, distinct lack of additional creatures, and, or course, Han shooting first, the original theatrical release editions have become the holy grail of the fandom collector. If you were lucky, you grabbed yourself a copy of the VHS or Laserdisc THX editions, or got your hands on a copy in a wretched hive of scum and villainy. With a recent rumor, though, there may be a new hope.

The scruffy nerf herders at Bleeding Cool claim to have gotten their smugglers paws on a secret internal Disney memo the discusses the upcoming release of the Original Theatrical Release. We’ll give you a moment to catch your breath.

Posters Star Wars Roundup: George Lucas Turns 70, Episode VII Officially Starts Filming & Much More!

While there has not been a single word from Disney regarding this release, fans can’t help but get their hopes up. Sadly, there is a giant road bump in the way. Way back when, Fox signed a deal giving them release rights to Empire and Jedi through 2020, and nearly eternal rights to New Hope. Of course, Fox can’t release the DVDs themselves because Disney now owns the rights to the characters. There may be some back room deals going on, but for now all we can do is hope.

Disney World, A Star Wars Fans Happy Place

While Disney only recently purchased Lucasfilm, they have been working together to bring Star Wars magic to fans since the 1980s. The Star Tours ride, and its newly revamped cousin, were among the first hints of what was to come. Always a bit bigger, Disney World’s take on Star Tours includes a whole region of their Hollywood Studios theme park, as well as a yearly fan fest the likes of which only Disney could provide, Star Wars Weekends.

Star Tours II The Adventure Continues Star Wars Roundup: George Lucas Turns 70, Episode VII Officially Starts Filming & Much More!It was in Florida in 2012 that Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher, in town for Celebration IV, were asked to lunch by George Lucas. Lucas dropped the bomb that Episode VII would happen by way of an invitation for the actors to reprise their roles as Jedi twins. While both have gone on to do other things, Hamill has become a well known voice in the world of animation and was quite happy for it to stay that way.

“I’m sort of settled in my ways,” Hamill told the Orlando Sentinel. “I’m a character actor in animation, and I don’t really do a lot of on-camera anymore. And I’m perfectly happy with that. I’m a man of simple pleasures.” The force must still be strong in Hamill, who felt a million fan voices calling out. ”I started thinking, business decision aside, what would happen if I declined? I would be the most reviled person on the planet.”

With the actors able to openly discuss the new film to a degree, Hamill will return to Florida this year as part of the newly extended Star Wars Weekends, now five weekends. The event includes meet and greets with all your favorite characters, and music and themed foods. Hamill will attend the event in its fourth week, and this will mark his first appearance at Star Wars Weekend.

Stay tuned for more Star Wars news, and check out whats been going on in the Star Wars Universe.


Images: Disney, Lucasfilm, Bad Robot

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