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More details continue to leak out about the behind the scenes tension at Lucasfilm that led to J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan taking over the script for Star Wars Episode VII. More and more, it’s sounding like decisions made by execs and money people back at the inception of the Lucasfilm purchase were way too ambitious, with the locked in 2015 release date causing a rushed process on the creative side, and forcing Disney execs to demand the film be completed in a time frame that seems unreasonable to those making the film. Read More »

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‘Star Wars Episode VII’ Crew Announced

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As the Disney earnings call approaches, Disney finally decided to announce publicly that screenwriter Michael Arndt was officially off Star Wars Episode VII, and that director J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan are busy working on the current screenplay. (If you havent yet, read more about that here.) But the press release also featured details of the crew that is on board for the upcoming sequel. Lets take a look at the list of names after the jump.

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/Film reader Paul Bullock discovered an awesome television profile on 34-year-old director Steven Spielberg which was aired on Japanese television in the Christmas of 1982, and has been virtually unseen by American audiences. If you’re even half the Spielberg-fanatic that I am, you’ll need to watch the entirety of the special. The special features a tour through Steven’s early Amblin’s offices and his Los Angeles home, behind the scenes footage of Spielberg directing his segment from Twilight Zone: The Movie. We get to see interview clips featuring Spielberg’s mother Leah Adler, Melissa Matheson (screenwriter of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial) and his young secretary just turned producer Kathleen Kennedy (now the head of LucasFilm), Spielberg’s thoughts on 1980′s television (Cheers, St Elsewhere, Hill St Blues…etc), his then attestant Kathleen Switzer (later a producer on movies like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Apollo 18), and many others. We get to drive with Spielberg to the studio lot with his dog on his lap, Robert Zemeckis talking with his two mentors John Milius and Spielberg while they eat eel and pumpkin pie together. We get to spend some time with Spielberg sitting at the piano with John Williams talking about their music collaborations. Interspliced with clips from his early films and even some behind the scenes b-roll footage. The special also features all the vintage commercial breaks, filled with fun Japanese commercials. Watch this now, or bookmark this link to watch later.

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Star Wars D23
The program teased it. We all expected it. But as the smoke cleared on the 2013 D23 Expo, there was not a single shred of Star Wars Episode VII news. Its absence left fans questioning not only Disney’s motives in using their new acquisition, Lucasfilm, to sell the event but also asking what the state of Star Wars Episode VII actually is.

The consensus seems to be director J.J. Abrams, executive producer and Lucasfilm CEO Kathleen Kennedy, screenwriter Michael Arndt and producers Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg are simply not ready to reveal anything about Star Wars Episode VII. What’s troubling though is Disney did reveal images, concept art and more for films that’ll be out after well Episode VII. Plus, with the D23 Expo only happening every other year, the film will be out months before the next Expo. Those factors meant major disappoint for fans both at the convention and beyond.

So what does that all mean? Are Abrams and crew simply too busy to worry about marketing a film that hasn’t begun production yet, or are things not progressing in the manner everyone expected? Read More »

John Williams

When Kathleen Kennedy took the stage at Star Wars Celebration Europe Saturday afternoon, fans were hoping to get some kind of official news about Star Wars Episode VII. She did not disappoint. Though the man himself had all but said it already, as did the director, Kennedy confirmed that one of the biggest parts of the Star Wars universe would return.

John Williams will write the music for J.J. AbramsStar Wars Episode VII. But that’s not all. He’ll do Star Wars Episode VIII as well. And Star Wars Episode IX. Watch a video of Williams discussing the task below. Read More »

George Lucas, Kathleen Kennedy and JJ Abrams in a Star Wars meeting
Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy appeared at Star Wars Celebration this weekend in Essen Germany. Kennedy appeared on a panel with Warwick Davis, and this is where she announced that John Williams would be returning for the new Star Wars films (reported elsewhere on the site). What else did she say? What else was revealed? Find out after the jump.

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Several weeks ago, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, the current ruler of the Star Wars universe, said the following in regards to exactly how she and her team will approach secrecy be in regards to Star Wars Episode VII:

We talk about that all the time. I think the whole issue of confidentiality is gonna be fascinating as we move into making the movie. If we’re shooting anything outside, it’s almost impossible to not have things end up on the Internet. So my feeling is, you need to embrace that, especially with the fans around something like Star Wars. You need to recognize they’re important to the process and acknowledge there are things you’re gonna want to make sure they get to know. So I think that’s something we’re going to monitor, pay attention to and think differently about.

That sounds like she’s saying “We’re going to be much more transparent when Star Wars goes into production,” doesn’t it?  So, when I got on the phone with Star Wars Episode VII producer/Bad Robot co-founder Bryan Burk and Star Wars superfan Damon Lindelof to talk about their latest film, Star Trek Into Darkness, I simply had to ask about this. Was Burk part of these conversations? What had been said? And would Lindelof be hunting for spoilers like other fans?

Their answers were surprising. Burk explained he never had this conversation with Kennedy, but that fans have likely overestimated the statement. Read his quote as well as Lindelof’s reaction below. Read More »

Vintage behind the scenes photo: Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker on the set of The Empire Strikes Back

Two actors who’ve appeared in both Star Wars trilogies talk about coming back for the third in this edition of Star Wars Bits. In addition, read about all this below:

  • Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy will appear at Star Wars Celebration Europe in July.
  • Warwick Davis has a new role in mind for Star Wars Episode VII
  • …while Kenny Baker would like to play the same role
  • Electronic Arts is opening a new office to develop Star Wars games.
  • J.J. Abrams puts the status on Episode VII into a sports metaphor.

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