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Star Wars Celebration begins today at the Anaheim Convention Center, but fans started lining up at 5am on Wednesday morning, 29 hours before the opening ceremony for the Star Wars fan convention. The panel is expected to be a presentation featuring a trailer and possibly more for the next installment of the franchise, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Director JJ Abrams and producer Kathleen Kennedy will be present alongside some unannounced “special guests” at the presentation that begins at 10:00am pacific time and will be streamed live around the world on StarWars.com. But I don’t think Lucasfilm and Abrams expected such a huge turnout on the day before the convention, and the result is an incredible show of generosity.

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Force Awakens poster

Whether or not you’re in Anaheim next weekend for Star Wars Celebration, you’d better be on alert. We know that at 10 a.m. April 16, J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy will take the stage at the event to premiere the second trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. That event will be simulcast in various rooms around that convention and, possibly, in cinemas all over the world. (That last part is still only a rumor, however.)

Word now has it that the duo will also debut the first Star Wars: The Force Awakens poster at the event.

Below, we’ll discuss what this means for people who are attending Celebration and those who aren’t. Read More »

Star Wars: Rogue One

Star Wars news has been announced by Bob Iger on the Disney investor call this morning. The first Star Wars spin-off film, written by Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Chris Weitz (Cinderella, About a Boy, Antz) and directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla, Monsters), based on a story by Industrial Light and Magic chief creative officer and effects legend John Knoll, will be titled Star Wars: Rogue One.

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Abrams Kennedy Star Wars Celebration

For months, everyone’s been hypothesizing that the next trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens was going to debut at Star Wars Celebration (before hitting theaters and online). Well, Lucasfilm just announced that the film’s co-writer and director, J.J. Abrams will kick off the event with producer and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy “in a big way” on April 16. I think we all know what that means. Read more below. Read More »

George Lucas star wars 7

In the years to come, we’ll certainly learn more about the behind the scenes development of the new Star Wars movies. But, for now, the public narrative is as follows. George Lucas was quietly developing Star Wars 7 when he decided to sell Lucasfilm to Disney. He passed along his outlines and work on the movies, which screenwriter Michael Arndt began adapting. J.J. Abrams came on board as director, but he and the writer didn’t see eye-to-eye. Arndt left the project, Abrams took over writing duties with Lawrence Kasdan, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens went into production.

The rumored disagreement between Arndt and Abrams was over Lucas’ vision. Apparently, Lucas and Arndt wanted Episode VII to focus more on the younger characters, while Abrams wanted the younger generation to be secondary to the old guard like Luke, Han and Leia. We still don’t know precisely how that balance worked out. In a new interview, Lucas himself admitted Disney abandoned his Star Wars 7 ideas, adding fuel to this fire. Read More »

JJ Abrams Force Awakens set

The first official glimpse of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was via a video director J.J. Abrams starred in urging fans to donate to UNICEF. The campaign, called Star Wars Force for Change, offered a visit to the set as the big prize along with other incentives. The campaign was a huge success, raising $4.26 million for the charity.

In a new and final video, Abrams and the crew – along with Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy – offer thanks to fans from The Force Awakens set. And just like the previous two videos, the background here is filled with images fans can speculate about. What’s that circular tunnel set? What are those black things stacked up? Why are those guys shooting paintballs? It’s not as revealing as the other two videos but it’s definitely worth watching. Check out the video below. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Chris Skinner Falcon

The circle is now complete. In three weeks, J.J. Abrams will be done with principal photography on Star Wars Episode VII. In this edition of Star Wars Bits read about that milestone, and get info on the following items:

  • The new London ILM president suggests we’ll only get six Star Wars movies over the next ten years.
  • Could Darth Bane be the villain of Star Wars Episode VII?
  • John Boyega tweets a very curious image of an R2 unit.
  • Star Wars Rebels set a ratings record on Disney XD.
  • Read the titles and credits for Star Wars Rebels episodes 7 and 10.
  • Star Wars Rebels character Zare Leonis is NOT John Boyega’s Star Wars Episode VII character.
  • Get $190 worth of Star Wars comics for whatever price you want to pay.

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David Fincher

From what we’ve heard, J.J. Abrams was always the director Kathleen Kennedy wanted to direct Star Wars Episode VII. Abrams had the ability and the insane Star Wars fandom to please executives and fans alike. However, don’t forget, he initially turned it down. History gets murky after that, with an incredible list of A-list directors who were rumored to, and reported to, have been contacted. Brad Bird, Matthew Vaughn, Jon Favreau, Guillermo del Toro and many others were mentioned in tandem with the film. Then, of course, J.J. Abrams changed his mind and the rest his story.

Probably the most interesting name mentioned in regards to Star Wars Episode VII was David Fincher. We published a rumor about Fincher meeting with Lucasfilm in November 2012 and, it turns out, that was correct. In a new interview, Fincher confirmed he met with Kennedy about the film but has a much different view of Star Wars than what she had in mind. Read the David Fincher Star Wars 7 quote below. Read More »

first day of new Star Wars shooting

The battle over May 2016 is getting more and more interesting. A while back, we thought the Summer of 2015 was the be-all, end-all for summer sequels. Those months were scheduled to include all the movies that are currently being released as well as two of the most anticipated movies ever: Star Wars Episode VII and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Those two films were later slotted into December 2015 and May 2016 respectively. May 2016 got more interesting, however, when Marvel dated Captain America 3 for the same release day as Batman v Superman. That’s where things stood for a while.

Then Harrison Ford broke his leg.

Now, while Disney is dead-set on holding December 18, 2015 as the Star Wars Episode VII release date, director/producer J.J. Abrams and Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy have reportedly asked, and been denied, a move to May 4, 2016.

Below, we examine the potential Star Wars 7 release date change from both sides of the argument. Read More »