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X-wing fighter shown off in new ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ video

- July 21st, 2014

Just like that, the internet exploded.

J.J. Abrams has finally figured out the internet and is using his incredible powers for good this time around.

In a recent video shot from the London set of the new film, Star Wars director Abrams appears to be standing in front of an X-wing fighter, an almost exact replicate of the ones used in George Lucas’ original Star Wars trilogy.

Even the uniform worn by the Rebel pilot who rudely interrupts Abrams’ speech looks identical to the revered one sported by Luke Skywalker.

Before the commenters begin raging about the lack of attention paid to the crucial changes made that we can obviously see on the ship, let me digress.

The most eye-catching change is the use of mostly blue paint to highlight the aircraft as opposed to the striking redish orange used in the original trilogy by the Red Squadron. There are also only half of the thrusters, with each side sporting one instead of two.

One significant change I completely missed that Entertainment Weekly’s Anthony Breznican pointed out (and it is a doozy) is the lack of compartment space made for an R2 of some sort to travel in. Are we meant to believe the new squadron of fighter pilots will be flying sans robot? Let’s hope not.

There’s been some talk on the internet (naturally, it comes with the Star Wars territory) the gigantic vehicle towering over Abrams isn’t an X-wing, but is in fact a Z-95 Headhunter ship.

According to the official Star Wars account, which was verified by the people at Twitter, “It is in fact an Episode VII X-wing, not a Z-95.”

 

The entire video was created in support of the “official” charity Abrams and his production crew have become a part of, Star Wars: Force For Change. The charity works in partnership with UNICEF’s Innovation Labs, a subdivision of the world wide charity that helps develop technology for third world countries.

Those who donate to the charity can win a visit to the set of the film, an advanced screening, or if you’re really lucky, a role in Star Wars: Episode VII.

You couldn’t brag about that twenty years ago, but in the age of 2014, that’s most definitely worth an Instagram post.

‘Star Wars’ gets ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’-style trailer

- June 24th, 2014

Every wonder how Disney would handle the advertising for Star Wars if it was being released circa 2014? Well, wonder no more. Youtube user The Unusual Suspect has uploaded a recut trailer for the original film that plays things for laughs, using the same songs from the Guardians trailer – Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky” and Blue Swede’s “Hooked on a Feeling” – for the soundtrack.

The two-plus minute ad doesn’t just use footage from Episode IV: A New Hope; there are scenes from the rest of the original trilogy (including my favourite line from Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back when Han says to Chewie: “Laugh it up fuzzball”)

Check out the recut version and then the original and let us know which you prefer in the comments.

‘Chronicle’ director Josh Trank takes on ‘Star Wars’ stand-alone movie

- June 4th, 2014

Chances are if you’ve directed a monster invasion movie, you’ve got a pretty good chance at getting your own Star Wars film.

Just weeks after Gozilla’s Gareth Edwards was chosen to take on the first stand-alone Star Wars film in the new Lucasfilm universe, the production company has announced Josh Trank will be behind the camera for the second movie.

Trank made waves in Hollywood after debuting his first feature Chronicle, and stole headlines once again after agreeing to sign on as director for the upcoming Fantastic Four.

Like Edwards, Trank doesn’t have a long IMDB credits list, but after critics lauded Chronicle, he became the go-to young director for science fiction and genre films.

According to Lucasfilm, the stand-alone films will be completely independent of the original, prequel, and sequel trilogies.

At this time, not much is known about the films other than each will focus on a primary character from the Star Wars universe that will change with each instalment.

While no announcement has been made as to when Trank’s instalment will hit theaters (Edwards’ is slotted for 2016), various sites have placed their bets on 2018.

Millennium Falcon confirmed through tweet

- June 4th, 2014

J.J. Abrams has become a troll.

Today, the online world erupted into balls of excited flames as confirmations were made by Bad Robot, Abrams’ production company working on Episode VII, that the Millennium Falcon would be in the new film.

Bad Robot tweeted the snarky photo below of a supposed internal memo Abrams had left on one of the props asking employees not to leak photos of anything on set.

 

“I wish people would stop leaking photos from Episode VII. And making ridiculous claims that the Millennium Falcon is in the movie,” the memo says.

At first glance, it may come off as a stern, almost lecturing memo from Abrams, but according to Star Wars nerds everywhere, the memo was propped up on a hologame table, which can be seen in the original trilogy aboard the famous ship.

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It’s not the first time Abrams has had to address leaks with staff members, and quite frankly, it’s going to be almost impossible to prevent them moving forward considering the enormity of his staff.

In April, Badass Digest posted a leaked photo of a letter sent to all cast and crew members on set. In it, Abrams threatens that if a person is found to be leaking information to the press, he’d “personally destroy” their reputation and careers. Although the letter turned out to be fake, but through various reports, we know how serious Abrams is about keeping everything under wrap.

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For now, though, Abrams has stayed ahead of the game, becoming the leaker instead of the man sitting behind a computer looking at what’s been anonymously leaked.

Does this mean Abrams will have to destroy his own career and reputation?

One can only hope.

‘Godzilla’ filmmaker to direct ‘Star Wars’ spinoff

- May 23rd, 2014

Turns out directing a fire-breathing monster was good practice for what’s coming next for Gareth Edwards. The man who injected new life into the moribund monster franchise currently stomping out the competition at the box office (at least until X-Men opens this weekend) has been tapped to direct the first stand-alone Star Wars spinoff.

The news, which was announced on StarWars.com Thursday, did not specify the subject matter of the new film but it has been speculated that new spinoffs would focus on the bounty hunter Boba Fett, Yoda or a young Han Solo.

The film will be written by Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli, After Earth).

“Ever since I saw Star Wars I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life — join the Rebel Alliance! I could not be more excited and honored to go on this mission with Lucasfilm,” Edwards said in a statement.

Whitta, who has also written a video game adaptation of The Walking Dead, added: “From the moment I first saw the original movie as a wide-eyed kid, Star Wars has been the single most profound inspiration to my imagination and to my career as a writer. It is deeply special to me,so to be given the opportunity to contribute to its ongoing legacy, especially in collaboration with a film-maker as talented as Gareth, is literally a dream come true. I’m still pinching myself.”

Prior to directing Godzilla, Edwards’ only directing credit was the indie sci-fi horror Monsters. In a 2010 interview with my colleague Jim Slotek to promote that film Edwards said: “If you’d have asked me when I was 12, I’d have thought I’d have made a film by 22, straight out of university. But that was really naive.”

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Godzilla director Gareth Edwards is seen in Toronto, May 15, 2014. (Dave Thomas, QMI Agency)

Last week, when he was in Toronto to promote Godzilla, another colleague Bruce Kirkland asked Edwards about delaying the big reveal. “I’d be more nervous about throwing it in early,” the British filmmaker said. “Because then you’ve spent one of your best cards in your hand. You’re trying to win the game and you’ve got to play it at just the right time.”

Sounds like the Force is strong with this one.

Edwards’ stand-alone Star Wars film will hit theatres Dec. 16, 2016.