star wars obi wan

Welcome back to Star Wars Bits, you source of news for everything Star Wars. Except for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. That thing has its own column. In today’s edition:

  • Star Wars: Episode 8 may see a production delay to accommodate some rewrites.
  • Rian Johnson speaks very highly of VFX wizard Chris Corbould.
  • Episode 8 has one very strange fake production title.
  • Donnie Yen opens up (but just a little) about his character in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
  • More rumors about Darth Vader’s return in Rogue One emerge.
  • Creature designer Neal Scanlan talks about his complex work on Rogue One.
  • The return of Obi-Wan Kenobi… in Mavel’s Star Wars comics.
  • The greatest lightsaber replica you will ever see.
  • One badass AT-AT poster.
  • And more!

Bel Powley in Star Wars Episode 8

There have been a ton of casting reports swirling around Star Wars: Episode 8, with many actresses in contention for several new female roles. Now, we may know why no one has made a decision yet – these new characters are in flux. According to the Meet the Movie Press podcast, writer/director Rian Johnson is currently rewriting his screenplay to focus more on the characters from Star Wars: The Force Awakens instead of introducing new protagonists:

Last week we mentioned Bel Powely and Gina Rodriguez. Now I heard Gina didn’t get it. Now I am told Episode VIII has been pushed about a month. Rian Johnson is going to do another rewrite, and I heard an Asian actress got the role Bel and Gina were up for. But I don’t know if the Bel Powely thing will work out. I said before there were two young female roles, now I actually heard that the rewrite will make these roles smaller. They want to get to know better the characters they already have. So the new rewrite is shrinking the new roles in order to spend more time with Rey, Poe and so on.

This make sense. Johnson wrote his screenplay before The Force Awakens hit theaters and before audiences fell in love with Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, and John Boyega. Although these new characters will surely be great, it’s only natural for Lucasfilm to want the sequel to focus on people we already know and love. And if the news that one of new characters will be played by an Asian actress is accurate, then Kathleen Kennedy should be congratulated once again for actually sticking to her plan to bring diversity to these movies.

The other big piece of news there is that filming has been pushed back a month to accommodate these changes, but nothing has been officially announced. As the proper press releases arrive in the coming weeks, a great deal of this will be confirmed or debunked. Sit tight.

Meanwhile, Johnson himself isn’t even trying to hide his enthusiasm about working with practical effects master Chris Corbould, who was just nominated for an Oscar for his work on The Force Awakens. “Magical genius,” indeed.

star wars extras

And yes, this is your big chance to be in Episode 8! Provided that you can report to Pinewood Studios in London and are eligible to work in England and actually manage to be cast as a background extra in the film and whatnot. However, the most interesting aspect of this extras casting call is the supposed fake title that Episode 8 will be filming under: “Space Bear.” Sometimes, these faux titles simply exist to throw people off the scene of a production and mean nothing. Sometimes, they’re inside jokes or cheeky references, like how Rogue One was titled “Los Alamos” during production, drawing a direct comparison between the Death Star and real world nuclear weapons programs. So, ladies and gentlemen, start prepping your Space Bear theories right now!

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