first day of new Star Wars shooting

Now that we’ve had a few hours to digest and discuss the names of actors who are part of Star Wars Episode VII, we figured it was worth looking at a few major names that weren’t mentioned. StarWars.Com released a very short and sweet announcement of the cast and crew, but three major names were oddly, or maybe predictably, absent. They were original Episode VII screenwriter Michael Arndt, series creator and consultant George Lucas and hero of the rebellion, Billy Dee Williams. We’ll break down the missing Star Wars names below. Read More »

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Star Wars Episode 7 Cast

By Peter Sciretta, Russ Fischer, Angie Han and Germain Lussier

The announcement of the full cast for Star Wars Episode VII sent a ripple of excitement through the movie world. Not only because the official announcement ends of months of speculation, but because this cast is excellent. The lineup Abrams has chosen for Episode VII is one we’d be excited to see in any film, so it’s a good first move for Star Wars.

While we know little about the relative newcomer Daisy Ridley, who plays the female lead, the rest of the new cast is a collection of great talent drawn from a variety of acting backgrounds: John BoyegaOscar Isaac, Max von Sydow, Adam Driver, Andy Serkis and Domhnall Gleeson.

That’s a great group of guys. The pleasure of that roster is diminished only by wondering how there can’t be any room for more than one major new female role. The classic Star Wars status quo (one woman, and a bunch of dudes) is almost a running joke at this point, and we hoped that Abrams might have broken that barrier as he cast the new film. An offset, however, is that Daisy Ridley could have a particularly important role. If she ends up being one of the true leads of the series, that would change things just a bit. And while this cast remains predominantly white, John Boyega held point position in the official announcement, giving rise to the assumption that he’s the lead. Boyega, born in London to Nigerian parents, is not the typical face of Star Wars. If he’s the lead, that’s a significant step in a new direction for the series.

Below, read up on the backgrounds of each of the new additions to the Star Wars universe, along with speculation and what actual data we have about the roles for each cast member. 

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Star Wars Episode VII Cast Announced

first day of new Star Wars shooting

Finally, it’s official. Here’s the release.

The Star Wars team is thrilled to announce the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII.

Actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow will join the original stars of the saga, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker in the new film.

Director J.J. Abrams says, “We are so excited to finally share the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII. It is both thrilling and surreal to watch the beloved original cast and these brilliant new performers come together to bring this world to life, once again. We start shooting in a couple of weeks, and everyone is doing their best to make the fans proud.”

Star Wars: Episode VII is being directed by J.J. Abrams from a screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan and Abrams. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Bryan Burk are producing, and John Williams returns as the composer. The movie opens worldwide on December 18, 2015.

Check out the first cast photo below. Read More »

zac efron star wars

UPDATE: 45 minutes after posting this, the cast was announced. Zac Efron is not in the film. But it was a fun discussion to be had. Original article follows.

We don’t know if Zac Efron is in J.J. AbramsStar Wars Episode VII. He might be, or he may not be. What we do know is, ever since his name was mentioned in connection with the project in July of last year, a growing mountain of evidence suggests he does have a role in the film, even as another pile of evidence suggests he does not.

Since that first rumor, Efron has done multiple interviews where he’s acted highly suspect. We’ve heard tips from unconfirmed sources and even analyzed his publicity schedule. Then again, there are few huge red flags to the contrary. It’s come to a point where, mere days before Abrams reveals his cast, a very reasonable case can be made for Efron’s involvement with the film but it’s not a certainty.

Below, I present the facts and let you judge for yourself. Read More »

star-wars-episode-iv-a-new-hope-original

Star Wars Day, May 4, is less than a week away, and Star Wars is already turning up everywhere. The official Twitter account has been promoting the “holiday” for weeks, various retailers have been pushing new merchandise, previews of Star Wars Rebels are airing, and all evidence points to the fact Star Wars Episode VII news is coming this week.

The biggest clue is Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher have all been spotted in London. That’s where Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn visited writer/director J.J. Abrams and producer Kathleen Kennedy last week to finalize the script. London, where the film will be shooting come May. Check out the evidence of Star Wars 7 news below. Read More »

star wars 7 update

UPDATE: Now with video.

Someone gets to fly to London this week and talk to J.J. Abrams about Star Wars Episode VII. Unfortunately, it’s not someone you know. It’s Alan Horn, the chairman of Walt Disney Studios. Horn offered that piece of news, as well as a few others, in a new interview.

The chairman also said the future films aren’t necessarily beholden to December release dates, and could come out in May. He confirmed there was filming in Abu Dhabi last week and casting is very close to complete. Then, he said George Lucas remains a consultant, a fact we’d heard at the beginning but hadn’t really talked about much since. Read more about these Star Wars 7 updates below. Read More »

AT AT Tatooine Star Wars 7

The All Terrain Armored Transport, better known as an AT-AT, was first seen on the snow planet of Hoth. It was then seen guarding Imperial bases on the forest moon of Endor. Now, it’s been spotted in the deserts of Tatooine…maybe.

After reports arrived of J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars Episode VII shooting in Abu Dhabi, new photos have come online of possible set construction. In those photos are something that looks incredibly similar to the foot of one of the Empire’s favorite modes of all terrain transportation. We weigh the evidence and speculate about AT-ATs on Tatooine below. Read More »

Star Wars Benedict Cumberbatch

Over the past year, Star Wars Episode VII casting rumors have touched upon just about every big name in Hollywood — and even some not-so-big names as well. But one of the first to make the rounds was Benedict Cumberbatch, way back when.

Although the actor has already shot down the reports multiple times, the whole Khan debacle of 2013 has had everyone taking his word with a grain of salt. Nevertheless, Cumberbatch has gone on the record to deny those Star Wars Episode VII rumors yet again. Should we believe him this time? Read his Star Wars comments after the jump — plus, a word on what other insanely popular sci-fi franchise he won’t be starring in.

Read More »

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