Review – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

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by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-Chief

They didn’t lie. Rogue One was certainly a Star Wars Story and a pretty damn good one at that. Equal parts thrilling, dark and hopeful.

The concept is brilliant, focusing an entire film on the theft of the plans to the Death Star which served as the impetus of A New Hope, the very first Star Wars film. It’s such an important detail, but one that most probably never gave a second thought to. Credit to John Knoll for spotting that seed and Gary Whitta for developing a story and creating a whole crew of characters that are new but feel quite right in the Star Wars universe.

First off, fans can breathe a sigh of relief.  The widely reported reshoots do not impact the viewing experience. Rogue One is not a damaged, incoherent film in any way. Is it a perfect film? No. But that doesn’t mean that anything is broken. My complaints after one viewing are all fairly small.

From the get-go we know that this is not our typical Star Wars film. Sure, it begins with the usual “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….” but missing is the subsequent text crawl that we’ve grown accustomed to seeing in every other Star Wars film previously. This was an inspired decision, one that subconsciously disorients the viewer and puts them in a position they’ve never been in with a Star Wars film before. We have zero idea of where we’re being dropped in the Star Wars universe. We’re not entering with the big picture having just been spoon fed to us. Anything is possible. This is followed by a VERY Star Wars moment, a ship in outer space. But this familiar opening is subverted since we find ourselves in a flashback, a first in Star Wars cinematic history (Rey’s force vision in The Force Awakens is not a flashback). It’s like they’re kinda, sorta playing by the rules, but not. Until I was sitting there watching it unfold, I hadn’t realized how much I’d gotten used to the way a Star Wars film is presented. It was exciting to be in that universe and have things be just a little bit different and not knowing what to expect.

The plot of Rogue One focuses on Jyn Erso, played by Felicity Jones. Jyn is tough as nails as a result of what she’s seen and how she was raised. She is stoic, even when over her head but there’s a vulnerability that Jones brings to the character that adds an important dimension. But make no mistake, as much as the film hinges on Jyn’s story, this film is an ensemble piece and they’ve assembled a very deep bench of talented and diverse actors and actresses unseen thus far in any Star Wars film, which is great news. There is representation for nearly everyone in the film and it never feels gimmicky or forced.

Most intriguing among them is Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor.  Andor is man of mystery, a character who operates in the gray area, doing bad things for a good cause. He is a means to an end and a character we haven’t seen the likes of before in any Star Wars film, a dark character in a world without much hope. Andor is another example of the way that Rogue One separates itself apart from past Star Wars films. A good guy has never been this bad before. In the other films the characters are either white hats or black hats. (This is where some will bring up Anakin. It’s very different because Anakin was never doing bad things for altrusitic reasons) That is not the case in Rogue One. People who had reservations about Han shooting first are likely to take umbrage with Andor and his actions early in the film. I’ve heard people refer to Cassian Andor as the Han Solo of Rogue One. He’s not. People have a tendency to put characters in a bucket with one of the others that have come before. It’s a mistake and a disservice to well written characters to do this. Han Solo is a fast talking, charming smuggler, which is the polar opposite of Andor, who is a (seemingly) cold and calculating soldier doing whatever it takes for the rebellion.

Also of note is Donnie Yen’s Chirrut Îmwe, stealing nearly every scene he’s in with his daredevil-like fighting prowess and zen-like optimism. Chirrut is the closest thing we have to a Jedi in Rogue One. I wouldn’t want to spoil his backstory but suffice to say this is with good reason. Also noteworthy is Ben Medelsohn as Orson Crennic who delivers a chilling performance, making me wish we’d gotten this same intensity from Domhnall Gleeson’s General Hux in The Force Awakens.

Star Wars fans have come to expect that we’ll have multiple films to explore new characters and that is Rogue One’s real problem. I wanted more time with characters like Cassian Andor, Jyn Erso, Saw Gerrera and Chirrut Îmwe. I wanted to see these characters journey prior to Rogue One. Unfortunately (or fortunately) the plot of Rogue One is utilitarian and has to operate at breakneck speed from the very beginning. The plot is literally life or death and there is precious little time to stop and smell the roses, which I appreciated. But the result is that the time we have with these characters feels truncated and left me wanting more. I’m sure that we’ll be getting a lot more of these characters via novels and comics and all the other avenues that Disney have in their arsenal for fans to get their Star Wars fix, but none of it is a suitable replacement for writers, actors and filmmakers all collaborating to bring a performance to life onscreen.

Going in, I was especially worried with how they were going to use Darth Vader in this film after early rumors indicated that we might see Vader in heavy action. It wouldn’t make sense that the very stiff looking Vader of A New Hope would be running around pulling ships out of the sky in action in Rogue One. I was happy to see how they handled Vader in the film. His last scene had me grinning like a fool.

Beyond Vader, it would have been very easy to fill Rogue One with too many nods to the subsequent Original Trilogy films. There are some great references in there, that will have fans excited, but it didn’t feel like they went over the line. This brings me to one of my main issues. Without revealing too much, there is a character in the film that has been brought back by use of CGI and it just doesn’t look right. I’m never that guy who whines about bad CGI, I’m usually pretty forgiving with that stuff, but this is a Star Wars film. Spend whatever you need to spend and take the time to make it look right. Or just don’t do it. As cool as it was that we were seeing this character, the CGI took me right out of it. I’m sure as a still shot the character it looks spot on, but in motion among real actors, it stuck out like a sore thumb. The rendering looked far too smooth and it felt like the dialogue would fall out of sync at any moment. There is another character brought to life with CGI that also bothered me a little, but at least it was brief. Less could have been more in both of these cases, though.

Ultimately, I had a great time with Rogue One. There is something in the film for every Star Wars fan. A credit to the cast and filmmaking team for actually expanding the Star Wars universe in a new and exciting way. I hope that Lucasfilm and Disney take note of what was accomplished with this film and apply what they’ve learned to other upcoming films under the “A Star Wars Story” banner. How cool would it be to have a television arm of Star Wars stories like this? An anthology series with wildly different types of stories that take place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away? It’s big galaxy with a big sandbox, let’s get even more talented filmmakers in there and have some fun building things.

I’m sure you have your tickets already, if not get some. I can’t wait to give this one another look, or ten.

What an amazing time it is to be a Star Wars fan!

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Josh Weighs the Options on What We Might See for the Third Star Wars Spin-off Film

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by: Joshua Outred – Staff Writer

We’re so close to the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story that I can taste it; in a matter of days we’ll be settling into our seats at the cinema ready to watch the first non-saga Star Wars film, a very special occasion indeed. The release of this first spin-off film will not only be important for us fans but for the creative minds behind Star Wars too, as Rogue One will stand as a sort of judgment point, where reactions will be analyzed and decisions made about where next to take these standalone movies after the release of ‘Han Solo’ in 2018.

In his recent coverage of Rogue One, Anthony Breznican of Entertainment Weekly reported that January will see the Lucasfilm brain-trust gather together, where they’ll map out the future of Star Wars cinema past Episode IX. Breznican finally confirmed that the third spin-off, set for 2020, was the long rumoured ‘Boba Fett’ film. That film has been temporarily put on hold since Josh Trank’s sudden departure last year. This begs the question of What ‘Star Wars Story’ will we eventually see in 2020? Will the Fett film be reignited, or will a great response to an all new cast of characters with Rogue One see Lucasfilm decide on something completely different and unexpected?

With the future of Star Wars cinema beyond Episode IX being a big question at the moment, I decided to take a little dive into what the third spin-off film could be. What do the fans want, as opposed to what is likely to be greenlit and announced next year.

 

Fan Favorites

Star Wars fans, we’re so demanding.. always wanting for nothing.. Joking aside, I feel like demand is the perfect word to describe certain areas of the fanbases’ hopes and dreams for the third spin-off. Although many of us will be happy with whatever is announced, there is most certainly a fan demand for specific character stories, starting with Obi-Wan Kenobi. Yes, Kenobi, he’s most certainly a film people want, and according to Anthony Breznican is high on Lucasfilm’s list awaiting the green light. The idea that Obi-Wan spent a many number of years on Tatooine watching over Luke intrigues people, and I can see why they want that story, Ewan McGregor was great as Kenobi in the prequels and seeing him play Obi at an older age where he’s probably learning great truths about the Force is exciting. If the Kenobi film were to be set in the period between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, there’s also a chance we’d see a younger Luke Skywalker and other classic characters return at a point in their life we have yet to see, I can see the interest. One thing that puts me off is this, what more about Obi-Wan Kenobi do we need to know? He’s a character with a lot of exposition thus far and unless Lucasfilm has great plans for him, I’m not so invested in a film revolving around him.

kotorfullboxartThe Old Republic and Origins of the Jedi. These two also keep coming up, there’s a huge amount of love out there for the Old Republic games, although I’ve never cared for them or that era. There is a large portion of the Star Wars fanbase who want to see that era reimagined on screen in the new canon. I think it’s an era that will eventually be explored, I feel that the current sequel trilogy is going to set up some form of backstory in which an Old Republic-Jedi Origin film will be able to explain how the Force became more than just that, how it became something beings embraced, using for good and for evil. I feel that a Jedi-Origin story could certainly tie into that era, hence why I’ve included both in this segment. It’s possible that Lucasfilm would want the origin of the Jedi Knights to be set in an era where the Old Republic exists, in doing so we would gain exposition on both stories, ‘killing two birds with one stone’ so to speak. I’ll be completely frank with you here, I have absolutely zero interest in visiting the Old Republic era and/or the complete beginnings of the Jedi, I don’t feel like it’s an era that necessarily needs to be explored, and to be honest, a time set so many thousands of years prior to where The Phantom Menace began may feel too far departed from what Star Wars is, a certain visual language that may have to abandoned when traveling so far into the past. The Jedi Origin story would be better utilized in pieces, being referenced in the films, not demystifying the whole thing with a film laying it all out. Sometimes less is more. (Jay: I’d imagine a lesson was learned by demystifying Vader in the Prequel Trilogy)

One more popular choice, there is.. Now, who could that be? The little green guy himself, Yoda. Although not voiced as often as the previous mentions above, people really would love a Yoda origin story. When it was first announced back in 2012 that Lucasfilm would be producing spin-off films, the popular three that were rumored were, ‘Han Solo’, ‘Boba Fett’ and ‘Yoda’. We now know we’re getting the ‘Han Solo’ film in 2018, and have recently gained more confirmation on the Fett film being one of the other’s, originally set to be the second until the controversy with Josh Trank benched the film. So could the other long rumored ‘Yoda’ film be the third standalone? Unlikely. The reason I say so is because I don’t think it’s a character Lucasfilm wants to necessarily Yoda Frank Oz Star Warstell a personal story about (at least not yet), I have no doubt that it’ll be made eventually, but in the first wave of films, doubtful. Yoda is a wildly popular character, and he’s shrouded in mystery so much so we don’t even know the name of his species (maybe Lucasfilm doesn’t either..?). A Yoda origin story could be incredible, not only would his character be exciting to really open up with, it’d be an incredible chance for the filmmakers to push the boundaries and use
every trick in the book to pull off successfully, embracing the oldest filmmaking tricks all the way down to those yet to be explored. I’d say leave it for now, it may be something better left for the future. (Jay: fingers crossed that it’s a romcom between Yoda and Maz Kanata. Imagine that Meet/Cute)

 

Likely Announcement

lando-fettWith the Lucasfilm brain-trust getting together in January to plot and green light future projects, it’s up in the air as to what will be chosen as the third Anthology film. The answer essentially comes down to the reaction of Rogue One, even though I feel that specific line of thinking is a little safe, that’s
Lucasfilm basically saying that if Rogue One doesn’t receive outstanding reactions they’ll go back to playing it safe, when they should really be going with whatever stories they want to tell, not what we want them to tell. So, what’s likely? Well, we’ve heard that the ‘Boba Fett/Bounty Hunter’ film mentioned previously is still a favorite and they’ve already done quite a bit of work already behind the scenes, but it would certainly undergo some changes with a new director coming on board. The Fett film could also tie into the ‘Han Solo’ film if it’s set around a younger Boba, being a perfect opportunity to tie two origin films together. Although a Fett film isn’t as much a popular choice as say, Obi-Wan, it’s a film I want to see and have always wanted to see. Boba Fett is a badass looking character, his imagery is iconic and yet he’s done nothing but flop on screen, I get that.. his onscreen physical performances ave kinda suck thus far, but it’s time to see the real in-universe reason for his reputation. There’s a story to be told with Fett, whether or not it’s of his younger self and a possible rivalry with young smuggler, Solo, or if they canonized his escape from the Sarlacc pit, there’s story there to be told. Imagine a noir-esque crime-thriller with Fett as the leading man? Yeah, I’d dig it!

 

What do I want?

What do I want to see? Well, I set that one up for you already and most who know me well know I love Boba Fett, I’m also an absolute sucker for crime-thrillers, so combining the two and having the likes of Kim Jee-Woo (I Saw The Devil) direct, I think that speaks for itself. I’m definitely interested in seeing Lucasfilm experiment with genre-style films for the spin-off’s, I’m less interested in seeing these flicks just explore the lore of Star Wars and more interested in the filmmakers bringing their specific styles to the table, where they can really let loose and spin the visual language of Star Wars in beautiful knots with a more personal stylistic language.

Rogue One is a matter of days away, and this is going to stand as a turning point in Star Wars cinema. It’ll set precedent for what comes next, and I truly hope Star Wars cinema pushes its boundaries, continuing diversity in its casting and stylistically speaking in terms of the visual language used by the future filmmakers.

Darth Vader Rogue One Casting News!

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer

Even though we didn’t see him in the teaser trailer rumors have persisted that Darth Vader would make his presence felt in the upcoming Star Wars film Rogue One. Taking place just as the Death Star is coming to completion and focusing on a group of rebels tasked to steal the plans of the Empire’s ultimate weapon it would make sense to see one of cinema’s greatest villains grace the screen one more time.

Flickering Myth has sources that say that yes the Jedi-turned-Sith will be in the film and that he has already been cast.

Actor Spencer Wilding has been tasked with bringing the man in black to life on film. Wilding has had minor parts in many major films like the Harry Potter series, Pan, Jupiter Ascending and Victor Frankenstein. Many people will most likely remember him as the blue alien guard who stole Star-Lord’s Walkman and headphones in Guardians Of The Galaxy.

FM has been told that Wilding is suited up and even running lines. It is unlikely though that the actor will be doing the actual voice work for Vader. While it hasn’t been confirmed, Making Star Wars is pretty sure that James Earl Jones will lend his dulcet tones to make the heavy breathing sounds for Darth Vader once again.

I’m willing to give Flickering Myth the benefit of the doubt on this one. They did scoop everyone and nailed down Scoot McNairy’s character in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice so they do have the right people in the right places.

I’m just waiting for the next trailer, which will hopefully end with the rebels opening a door only to run in and hear the iconic inhale and exhale of one angry Sith, confirming this for the fans once and for all.

Not at SXSW Today? Check Out the Tease to ‘The Secrets of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey’

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by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-chief

I unfortunately was not present to see The Secrets of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey feature length documentary at SXSW today and if you’re like me that really bums you out.

The silver lining is that Disney dropped a little sneak peek at the feature that will be included in the upcoming home video release.

As it stands I’ll probably end up double or triple dipping on this thing. I will have to get it in Digital HD because I can’t wait the four days. Then I’ll undoubtedly purchase a couple of the retailer exclusive versions because I need the Steelbook and I can’t live without the extra footage that Target will have.

Thank god it’s coming soon. Take a look at the tease.

Get a first look at The Secrets of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey, an in-depth documentary on the making of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and one of the many special features included on the upcoming Digital HD (available April 1) and Blu-ray Combo Pack (available April 5) releases.

 

Star Wars: Episode VIII Picks up Right Where The Force Awakens Left Off

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer

So Star Wars: The Force Awakens left us with quite the cliffhanger (and it’s been almost three months so if you haven’t seen it by now you should know these articles will contain SPOILERS). Rey and Luke Skywalker had an intense stare down as she offered him his lightsaber, which she can seemingly wield like a natural.

Now most Star Wars films have a bit of a time jump between them even if it’s only a few years. But instead of seeing the Luke/Rey relationship already in full swing we’ll be getting something a little different.

While at the Oscars, Daisy Ridley (the actress who plays Rey) spoke with MTV and dished on the filming of Star Wars Episode VIII and what fans can expect:

Me and Mark [Hamill] have been rehearsing a lot, and it’s really amazing. When we went back to Skellig to do the opening of VIII, it was so crazy doing the same scene with a different crew of people. He’s amazing to rehearse with, and I’m very excited to be doing the rest of the stuff.

Skellig is the island that ended up being the final location on The Force Awakens so this leads us to believe that the next installment picks right up where the last one left off. Not to mention this location and scene was part of the Episode VIII announcement video released after the first day of shooting.

Now, they could always jump forward a few years after the opening and do things the usual way – but I like where this is going. It makes marathoning these films a little more palatable if it feels like one giant adventure.

We’ll find out for sure just how the narrative plays out when Star Wars Episode VIII hits theaters around Christmastime 2017.

The Force Might Not Awaken in China Until 2016

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer

If you’re a Star Wars fan and you live in China, get ready to be a little angry.

The Wrap got word from IMAX Entertainment President Greg Foster saying that a December release for Star Wars: The Force Awakens in China is far from a done deal. Right now he’s “hopeful and optimistic” for an early 2016 release.

The Chinese government only allows 34 foreign films to hit theaters every year. This is in an effort to protect their local film industry, so you need to bring your A-game of you want to be one of the magic 34. It just so happens that by the time The Force Awakens went for their spot they were just a bit late.

Most studios are clamoring for the Chinese market these days. It turns films that were so-so or even severely underperforming into profitable projects. Studios are even tinkering with scripts and adding or removing scenes that would target the big overseas markets.

IMAX is even growing bigger in China. It’s predicted that soon China will have more IMAX screens than North America.

But in the long run this means that fans in China might have to wait until January 2016 to view the newest film set in a galaxy far, far away. Let’s just hope that Disney and Lucasfilm took this as a learning experience and have a spot secured for Rogue One, which debuts December 2016.

Indiana Jones Will NOT be Recast!

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer

Once Disney acquired Lucasfilm and got the Star Wars franchise back on track, fans started to wonder if the House of Mouse would turn its attention to the other major franchise – namely the one involving a certain whip-wielding, fedora wearing archaeologist.

One of the biggest rumors to hit the internet was that Chris Pratt would take over for Harrison Ford in a reboot of the Indiana Jones series, but those rumors were quickly shot down by the actor himself. So the question on the tongues of fans all over is just who will get to play Indiana Jones?

Well, if producer Frank Marshall is to be believed the only man who will play Dr. Jones will be Harrison Ford.

Speaking to Total Film (by way of Den Of Geek) the producer set everyone straight on why Ford IS Indy:

There are a lot of rumors. We haven’t even sat down to talk about Indy yet… at some point we’ll sit down. But there’s a bunch of people who could probably take the baton. [But we are] not doing the Bond thing where we’re going to call somebody else Indiana Jones… we have to figure this out.

So the new actor will work with Indiana Jones in some capacity? Or will we see Harrison Ford swinging over ravines and outrunning boulders until he breaks a hip? And how can you technically call it Indiana Jones if Indiana Jones isn’t the main character?

It’s always an uphill battle when rebooting a series. Fans of the original will gnash their teeth and raise holy hell until they see that the newer version isn’t that bad. But this just sounds like a grumpy old man who doesn’t like change.

Nothing regarding an official reboot has come from the Disney camp just yet, so the company may just be waiting until they figure everything out before making any announcements. We’ll keep you updated as we hear more on this.

Han & Leia Together, Unmasked Kylo, a Fallen Friend and A Slew of Other New Images From the New ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Trailer!

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by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-Chief

So now that we’ve all watched the trailer numerous times, it’s time to pick apart each and every image for clues.

I’ve compiled a large gallery of images to pour over. Take a look and leave a comment with your observations!

Feast Your Eyes on the Final ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Trailer!!

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by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-Chief

Hopefully by now you’ve scored your tickets for the first showing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in your neck of the woods. If not, what the hell are you waiting for?!? Get on it!

Most likely the ticket buying adrenaline is subsiding, but not for long as the FINAL Force Awakens trailer is here! Treat your eyes and give it a look… or fifty….

Spielberg + Ford = Indy 5??

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas

Anytime Steven Spielberg mentions anything Indiana Jones, the internet tends to blow up. And this is no exception.

In an interview with Yahoo! Movies while promoting his newest film Bridge Of Spies, Spielberg dropped a nonchalant line about what his next project could be:

Now, I’ll probably do an Indy 5 with Harrison, so then it’ll be five for Harrison, four for Tom.

(He’s speaking of doing four films with Harrison Ford in the past and Bridge Of Spies marking his fourth collaboration with Tom Hanks.)

Ever since Disney purchased Lucasfilm, fans have been clamoring for another Indiana Jones film. Actors like Bradley Cooper, Chris Pine and Chris Pratt have been bandied about and rumored to be in talks to don the sacred fedora. Frank Darabont was even rumored to have written a treatment for the next film.

While nothing official has come from the House of Mouse yet regarding this, the fact that Spielberg is mentioning it could put some merit behind it. The director’s next project is the upcoming Ready Player One, which is currently in the casting and pre-production stage. After that though, the schedule is wide open for the director.

Or could the fan favorite director just be pulling all our collective legs to get a rise out of the internet and see what kind of a shitstorm he can stir up?

Another question is do we really want to see Harrison Ford come back to the fold for another Indiana Jones film at this stage in his life? With the injuries sustained by the actor reprising his Han Solo role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, would Disney and Lucasfilm take the chance with the actor? Of course they would and of course we do! Perhaps with the caveat that he would he pass the torch (and whip) to another young adventurer.

As soon as anything clarifying the situation gets reported, we’ll have an update right here.

Are the ‘Star Wars’ Theatrical Cuts Being Re-Released?

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas

It would seem the gods have finally opened their ears and heard the prayers of fans the world over.

Rumors are swirling that the theatrical (i.e. NON Special Edition) cuts of A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi are being prepped for release on Blu-ray for the first time ever.

Now, I know what you must be thinking. These kinds of rumors tend to kick up every couple of years so why get our hopes up. But there’s a good reason why this rumor has been making waves now.

Empire Magazine was recently at a Q&A with director John Landis, who happens to be buddies with George Lucas. Landis said that Lucas said Disney is looking to release the theatrical cuts sometime in the near future.

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While it’s not direct word from an exec at the House of Mouse, Landis wouldn’t have any reason to stir the pot on this one. So while I’m not totally inclined to say this is definite, it’s a little better than the average rumor.

It’s just that the timing on this one kind of stinks. The Star Wars saga has just been announced for getting standalone steelbook releases for mid-November, about a month before The Force Awakens hits theaters. If the theatrical cuts were going to be in the steelbooks I have a feeling it would have been announced as such to get as many pre-orders as possible.

So this means it may not be until 2016 that we get the theatrical releases on Blu-ray and HD download. That said, marketing -wise it would make sense to do it around the time of The Force Awakens hitting home media. I could definitely see a bunch of Star Wars fans walking out of their local retailer with a good stack of Blu-rays that day.

As soon as we get word on a release date we’ll post it here, so keep checking back as this story develops.

Indie Revolver Exclusive: ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ – Fantastic Luggabeasts and Where to Find Them

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by: Jay Carlson

A couple weeks ago Entertainment Weekly released some new shots from The Force Awakens. One of those shots was of Rey liberating BB-8 from a fellow scavenger by the name of Teedo sitting atop a new creature to the Star Wars universe, a Luggabeast. This is how the little droid finds his way into our core group of characters.

 

This isn’t the first I’ve seen of these characters though. The scavengers and their unique creatures appear over many pieces of early concept art, a few of which I’ve included below.

What’s interesting is that in these early pieces the scavengers and Luggabeasts appear not just in the Jakku desert, but also in what appears to be a snow and ice terrain. It’s unclear whether they are limited to just Jakku in the final film or if we’ll see them elsewhere. It would be neat to see the scavengers picking over the remnants of battles across the star system.

In some or the pieces of concept art the Luggabeasts appeared to be purely mechanical modes of transportation, which eventually evolved to the better looking hybrid creature we see in EW’s image above.

Not surprisingly, Making Star Wars referenced Rey’s first meeting with BB-8 along with Teedo atop his Luggabeast. In their piece they refer to the scavengers as “hasslers” which is a term that was used to reference them in numerous production documents.

With Force Friday tomorrow we are in the final stage of the Force Awakens rollout. With things ramping up, what are you most looking forward to before the release? For me, it’s the new trailer which is just around the corner!

Colin Trevorrow Confirmed to Direct ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas

We’ll be getting J.J. Abrams seventh episode of the Star Wars saga, The Force Awakens, in just a few months, but it would seem all eyes are set firmly to the future. And at the D23 expo for Disney, Lucasfilm confirmed that the future is Colin Trevorrow.

You’ll recall that we originally reported (via Heroic Hollywood) that the Jurassic World director would be the one to sit in the director’s chair for Episode IX of the space-faring super-epicback during SDCC last month. After the way his awesome installment in the Jurassic franchise over-performed, many people thought he was a shoe-in for the job too.

Colin Trevorrow impressed a lot of the right people with his vision and work ethic on the set of Jurassic World, including producer Steven Spielberg. According to multiple interviews, Trevorrow proved himself a team player, and the comments he gave as part of the official press release bolster this claim:

This is not a job or an assignment. It is a seat at a campfire, surrounded by an extraordinary group of storytellers, filmmakers, artists and craftspeople. We’ve been charged with telling new stories for a younger generation because they deserve what we all had—a mythology to call their own. We will do this by channeling something George Lucas instilled in all of us: boundless creativity, pure invention and hope.

This is someone who understands it’s not just him – that he’s just one part of a major process that helps create these stories and gets them out there. A director like that has no problems hearing output from multiple sources and deciding which is the smartest direction to go for the sake of the film.

After enjoying Jurassic World, I can’t wait to see what Colin Trevorrow can do in a sandbox set in a galaxy far, far away.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which had J.J. Abrams at the helm, is set for a December 18 release. Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII is in the works for 2017 and Colin Trevorrow’s vision will hit theaters sometime in 2019.

Rumor: Could The Force be With Netflix for a Trio of Star Wars TV Shows?

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas

Netflix seems to be the place to be if you want to flesh out your cinematic universe these days.

After partnering up with Disney-owned Marvel Studios and working on creating a gritty TV universe that ties in with the theatrical one, it looks like the streaming service provider is taking another property from the House of Mouse and doing almost the same thing.

Cinelinx is reporting that Lucasfilm and Netflix will be teaming up for a trio of live-action shows set in the Star Wars universe.

There were reports back in March that Disney and Lucasfilm were looking for ways to flesh out the new Star Wars universe going forward. The company wanted not only feature films, but books and TV shows to keep the fans engaged in-between the theatrical releases. Disney wanted three shows to be filmed that would take place in-between the movies, using the same sets and the like, so that the grander picture didn’t just fall to the wayside.

Nothing has been set in stone as of yet. Either Disney, Lucasfilm or Netflix have made any official announcements, so for now we’re filing this under MAYBE. But Netflix’s track record of quality programming at reasonable budgets makes all the sense in the world…even if that world is in a galaxy far, far away.

Rian Johnson Eyeing Benicio Del Toro for Star Wars Episode VIII

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas

Director Rian Johnson’s Star Wars Episode VIII won’t start filming until next year, but it’s never too early to get the casting out of the way.

The Wrap reports that they have sources close to the casting process that say Lucasfilm and Disney are currently eyeballing Benicio Del Toro for the main villain in the next installment of the main Star Wars saga.

Nothing has been confirmed yet, but this would definitely fit in with the diverse universe that J.J. Abrams has started to build with this year’s The Force Awakens.

Discussions are still in the early stages, but word is that the House of Mouse is high in getting Del Toro. And why wouldn’t they? After proving himself in another Disney owned property, Guardians of the Galaxy, the veteran actor showed he can hang in the wacky sci-fi universes that inhabit the movie theaters these days.

The actor has proven that he can play downright menacing as well. He was scary as hell in The Savages.

Hopefully this pans out to be true. I’d love to see Benicio Del Toro’s brand of villainy in a galaxy far, far away.

Star Wars Episode VIII is currently scheduled to hit theaters May 26, 2017.

LucasFilm Confirms ‘Indiana Jones 5’ is Happening!

by: Jay Carlson

LucasFilm President Kathleen Kennedy has finally commented on the record regarding our favorite archaeologist/adventurer to Vanity Fair, commenting a new Indiana Jones adventure “will one day be made inside this company. When it will happen, I’m not quite sure. We haven’t started working on a script yet, but we are talking about it.”

The coveted rights to Indiana Jones came as part of the deal when George Lucas sold LucasFilm to Disney back in 2012. The deal not only brought the house of mouse the Star Wars franchise, but also Indiana Jones, Willow and Radioland Murders. (No word on Tucker: The Man and his Dream)

An insider tells us that Harrison Ford is still expected to take part in the sequel, though they’re unclear as to whether this means a story focused solely on Ford, or something more along the lines of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. They tell us regardless of how they approach the film, to count on Ford being a part of whatever they end up doing. As long as Mutt Williams is relegated to film purgatory or the sands of Jakku with Jar Jar I’ll be happy.

What do you think? Any news is good news, right?

Boba Fett to be the Focus of the Second Star Wars Anthology Film?

by: Jay Carlson

 

A couple weeks back I dropped that little nugget on Twitter after the panel focusing on the Star Wars Anthology films came and went with no mention of Boba Fett’s presence in either film. I wasn’t sure if this had to do with Josh Trank’s mystery “illness” that precluded him from attending or if they just didn’t want to let the cat out of the bag so early. With the recent shake-up of Trank exiting his Anthology film, I was curious when details might start seeping out regarding the focus of his project.

Turns out we didn’t have to wait very long.

Jeff Schneider over at The Wrap dropped news today that the infamous bounty hunter is to be the focus of the film Trank recently departed under a veil of controversy. Schneider claims that the film will focus on Fett’s origin story. Presumably this “origin story” will focus on his transition from annoying-as-shit child to fearsome bounty hunter after he was sadly demystified by George Lucas in the Prequel Trilogy.

Personally, I’d bet the farm that we see Boba Fett on the big screen prior to that second anthology film hitting in 2018…

What do you think? Are you ready for more Boba Fett?

May the 4th be with you!

More Star Wars Promotional Art Featuring Kylo Ren, Stormtroopers and More!

by: Jay Carlson

10:00 EST – UPDATED WITH MORE KYLO!

Making Star Wars have added some additional Kylo Ren pieces that I’ve included below!

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Twitter user Tim Veekhoven has posted a few new images of promotional art to his Twitter that he “found on Facebook” that feature our best look yet at the final look of Kylo Ren, the chrome trooper (also being referred to as Captain Phasma) and the various other stormtroopers.

I can absolutely confirm that these pieces of art are legitimate pieces of promotional art and that is indeed the final Kylo Ren helmet.

Take a look at the images below:

What do you think? I’m getting jazzed to see what else is in store for us at Celebration!

Our First Full Look at the Stormtroopers From ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’!

by: Jay Carlson

Back in August we revealed the first look at the new stormtrooper helmets from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Today, thanks to Star Wars Underworld we have our first look at a the rest of the Stormtrooper’s armor in J.J. Abrams upcoming film, courtesy of the program for Star Wars Celebration, which officially kicks off tomorow.

This is the first time we’re seeing the helmet unobstructed from the front which shows the asymmetrical breather/vent. We were unable to see this in the shot from the teaser trailer, due to the way the shot was composed (See the image at the op of the page). Another thing to note is the fact that each stormtrooper now carries a rifle and a pistol, which sadly, look a bit plastic.

This will surely be the first of many amazing reveals in store for us this weekend, thanks to Celebration. I can’t wait to see what else J.J. and crew have in store for us!

What do you think about the full stormtrooper reveal? Let us know in the comments!

 

Does Steven Spielberg Want to Direct Chris Pratt in the Next ‘Indiana Jones’?

by: S. Scott Stanikmas

It wasn’t too long ago that the rumor train left the station with the word that Disney was looking at Chris Pratt to star in the upcoming reboot of the Indiana Jones franchise. Now Deadline is reporting that, assuming a script comes in that he likes, Steven Spielberg wants to direct Pratt as the globe-trotting archaeologist.

This comes as no surprise. Spielberg hand-picked Pratt to be the lead in this summer’s upcoming blockbuster Jurassic World. And if anyone knows what direction to take the god Doctor Jones, it would be the guy who helmed all four of his cinematic exploits.

A case can be made for not letting Steven Spielberg return as the last film in the series, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, was truly and wholly horrible. Just as an overall package, Crystal Skull was one of the worst movies I’d seen in a while. But I’m sure a lot of people, myself included, can begrudge Spielberg one misstep in the series.

All that being said, it’s still very early in the proceedings to set things in stone just yet. They still have to get a script, get a budget approved, and actually sign an actor to play Indy. With the multitude of fans of this franchise, I’m sure as soon as decisions are made we’ll hear something.