Star Wars Episode VII Cast Announced

Well so much for waiting for May 4th to make the announcement. After months of speculation from fans and the press, Lucasfilm has just announced the cast for the upcoming Star Wars Episode VII.

As expected many of the actors from SWcastthe original Star Wars trilogy will reprise their iconic roles including Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Harrison Ford as Han Solo and Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia (will she be a queen by this time?). Also returning are Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca, and Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker as the droids C-3P0 and R2-D2. At this point, Billy Dee Williams has not been announced as returning to play Lando Calrissian.

new castNow for the new actors, there hasn’t been any official announcement as to who will play who, but the following actors have been confirmed: John Boyega, best known for his role in Attack The Block; Daisy Ridley, a newcomer who may be playing Obi-Wan Kenobi’s descendant; Adam Driver, from the HBO series Girls, is rumored to be playing the villain; Oscar Isaac, who won a lot of acclaim for his recent role in the film Inside Llewyn Davis; Andy Serkis, who is known by genre fans everywhere for his groundbreaking mo-cap work as Gollum in The Lord Of the Rings trilogy, the title character in the King  Cast 2Kong remake and Caesar in the recent Planet Of The Apes films; Domhall Gleeson, recognized by fans for playing Bill Weasley in the latter Harry Potter films, and legendary actor Max von Sydow. It would be fun if von Sydow played a similar scene-chewing role as he did as Ming in Flash Gordon. However, it’s more likely he may play a diplomat, perhaps the leader of the New Republic, or maybe a clandestine villain ala Palpatine.

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Well, we can breathe a sigh of relief that Star Wars Episode VII director J.J. Abrams hasn’t picked anyone cringeworthy like Jake Lloyd or Hayden Christensen. In fact, some of these picks like von Sydow, Isaac and Serkis are quite inspired. Whether or not one is thrilled with these choices, the fact remains that a feeling of excitement is palpable among Star Wars fans now that a new Star Wars film is going to be a reality. Announcing the cast now just whets our appetites for next year.

Annette DeForrester

A Fan’s Angst About Star Wars Episode VII

I miss George Lucas. That is basically my reaction to the recent news and rumors of problems with the upcoming film Star Wars Episode VII. From the writer, Michael Arndt, being replaced with director JJ Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan (the writer of The Empire Strikes Back), to hints of tension between Lucasfilm and Disney about the film’s release date.

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This is what I feared when Disney took over the franchise. Star Wars movies usually took three years to make and it was all that George Lucas and his company were focused on. Now it seems like Star Wars is just another piece in Disney’s massive empire. The idea of delaying the film to 2016 may seem like a long time to wait for some, but on the other hand it may not be such a bad idea since it feels like everything is being rushed. Abrams only recently finished Star Trek Into Darkness and now with a new script being written, there will be a limited amount of time to get the whole thing done by 2015 as Disney CEO Bob Iger relishes.

The other idea of having a new Star Wars movie every year makes all of this feel like these films will be churned out of a factory and will inevitably lead to people getting burned out on Star Wars. The anticipation for each new episode was part of the fun during the years between films. But with Disney and its shareholders demanding more profits this will not be allowed. See the glut of Marvel films as a reference. Lucas had his flaws but Star Wars was his life’s work and was solely concerned with it and the rich universe he created. This won’t be duplicated with whoever is running things now.

abramsGetting back to J.J. Abrams, one has to question how committed Abrams is to this opportunity. It has also been rumored that he was reluctant to move to England to film the movie, which if true would be ridiculous. How many directors are out there that would swim to England just to have a chance to direct a Star Wars movie? These type of projects just don’t come around too often.  Not to mention the problems several fans had with his Star Trek films that had plot holes all over the place. No doubt caused in part by the scripts. The fact that the Episode VII screenplay is now being rewritten does not inspire confidence except for Kasdan being involved. Having said all of this, I hope that Abrams can pull this out. I think he needs a strong producer lucas abramsto keep him on track and ensure that the problems that occurred in his other films are avoided. His first Star Trek film had nice visuals and good action sequences, so he does have some skill in that regard. He just can’t have free reign to do whatever he pleases, especially on a project of this magnitude. Disney is not going to change directors at this stage of development, so he is it for Star Wars Episode VII.  Down the line, I would like to see someone like Alfonso Cuarón take a stab at these films. He has been receiving great reviews for his sci-fi film Gravity. Having that type of vision for a Star Wars film seems like a great opportunity.

Hopefully, Abrams and Kasdan can come up with a quality script and do justice to the Star Wars saga. That is just as long as Abrams doesn’t bring in his buddy writers. Maybe Abrams will ultimately deliver a great Star Wars film, and all this angst we fans are feeling will be for nothing. We’ll just have to hope for the best.

C.S. Link

Starloggers Asks Who Should Be In Star Wars Episode VII?

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The rumors about who will appear in the upcoming Star Wars Episode VII are swirling faster than an TIE fighter spinning to its doom on an asteroid field after chasing the Millennium Falcon. There are reports that Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford will reprise their roles of Luke Skywalker and Han Solo respectively in the new film to be directed by J.J. Abrams. Carrie Fisher can’t be far behind to complete the triad.

With that, here at Starloggers, our contributors were asked which characters they  would like to return in Star Wars Episode VII. These are their replies…

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José Soto: Luke Skywalker and Han Solo are excellent choices, but you need Leia too so that the baton can be effectively handed off to the new generation of characters. While they’re at it, throw in Chewbacca, Admiral Ackbar and a force ghost appearance by Yoda. Oh, and don’t forget the droids!

fettC.S. Link: The droids, of course, you can’t have a Star Wars film without C-3P0 whining away and R2-D2 being the heroic droid/mobile Swiss army knife. Boba Fett would be nice, as well as Lando Calrissian and Chewbacca. They’re cool.

GEO: I would like J.J. Abrams to recast Luke, Han and Leia, just like he did with the Star Trek reboot. But at the end of the day, the must-have character to appear in Star Wars Episode VII should be Luke.

Jennifer Drucker: I’d love to see Princess Leia and Lando Calrissian again. Also, it would be great if the people making the upcoming film were to include Qui-Gon Jinn and Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi as blue Jedi ghosts.

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Annette DeForrester:  Yoda’s my favorite Star Wars character of all time. Even though he died in Return Of The Jedi, Yoda can appear as a ghost. For the villains, Boba can stay in the sarlaac pit, but they should bring back the sith villains as evil ghosts.

droids 3Jim McLernon: They should include the droids, R2-D2 and C-3P0 since they appeared in all six Star Wars films. The rest doesn’t matter to me, but J.J. Abrams should just make sure the characters are well developed no matter who appears in the film.

Lewis T. Grove: Like everyone else I think the droids R2-D2 and C-3P0 must be part of Star Wars Episode VII. Just have them appear more worn and beat up, it would be a realistic touch. Also they should consider Obi-Wan Kenobi. Like the droids, he appeared in all six films and can provide a sense of continuity.

J.J. Abrams Picked As Director For Star Wars VII

abramsAccording to The Wrap and other sources, J.J. Abrams is set to direct Star Wars: Episode VII. Despite earlier proclamations about his loyalty to the Star Trek films and ruled out a directing gig for Star Wars, it’s seems to have been a smoke screen to throw off people, especially snoopy journalists. The Wrap also claimed that Ben Affleck was strongly considered for the job. Maybe he’ll have a chance with Episode VIII.

muralJ.J. Abrams has the credentials for this directing job. He created the acclaimed series Lost and even in that show his fan-worship of Star Wars came about, especially during season five when Hurley was stuck on the island in the 1970s and tried to write an improved screenplay for The Empire Strikes Back. He also co-created the just concluded sci-fi show Fringe and has a good track record as a director. While his first big-screen job was on Mission Impossible III, he came to prominence when he directed the reboot of Star Trek and then Super 8. In fact, one of the complaints about Star Trek was that it felt more like a Star Wars film with the big-action scenes and spectacular special effects. If anything, that film proved that he was one to seriously consider for a new Star Wars film. Regardless, he should be credited super 8for bringing the franchise back from the dead even if it came in a slick package. It still worked. Fans should also look at Super 8, which showed that the director could helm believable and sympathetic characters, something that the Star Wars films need at this point. In other words, Abrams can bring out fine performances from his actors.

Abrams has said in the past that Star Wars was his passion and it makes sense that someone like him should direct the start of the next trilogy. He can be seen by many as a solid choice to direct the next Star Wars film but he has his detractors. Already the forums are burning up with statements of lens flares polluting Star Wars: Episode VII. Some people have reacted with a shrug and a “whatever” to this news. Some feel that his films are largely superficial and fail to deliver satisfying conclusions. Those are the fans that J.J. Abrams has to win over. Still Disney could’ve done far worse. At least it won’t be Zack Snyder. 

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One more thing, this probably means that a new director will be needed for another Star Trek film. Most likely Star Trek Into Darkness could be J.J. Abrams’ last Trek film because he’ll be busy.

Lewis T. Grove and C.S. Link

 

 

Potential Star Wars Directors

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Ever since George Lucas sold Lucasfilm and the Star Wars property to the Walt Disney Company, there has been a barrage of speculation over who will direct the films in a newly announced Star Wars trilogy.

Recent reports have it that J.J. Abrams and Guillermo Del Toro allegedly turned down offers to meet with Disney to discuss directing the new films. There have been other reports of directors who either are or aren’t interested in helming a new Star Wars film. Meanwhile, actor Jason Flemyng blurted recently that his friend and noted genre director Matthew Vaughn (the director of Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class) was picked to direct Star Wars: Episode VII.

Whether or not that is true, there are other notable directors that are well suited for the gig. Aside from current rumored frontrunners like Jon Favreau, Joe Johnston and Brad Bird, it’s time to point out some candidates that haven’t been mentioned but are worthwhile contenders.

Alonso Cuarón would be a solid choice. His resume include three genre films (Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, Children Of Men and the forthcoming Gravity) and the first two show a distinct, engrossing and moody style that would fit in nicely with an Empire Strikes Back-style Star Wars film. Cuarón should definitely be considered for a darker themed film.

Kenneth Branagh, who directed Thor, Mary branaughShelly’s Frankenstein, and several Shakespearean dramas, is a worthy candidate. His films have gravitas but more importantly are generally entertaining. This was best shown with Thor and Branagh has the skills to do a big-budget sci-fi spectacular with heart and emotion.

raimiSam Raimi could shoot up to the top of the list if his Disney film Oz, The Great And Powerful becomes a hit. He also has a terrific lineup of popular genre films under his belt like the Evil Dead and Spider-Man trilogies. Most likely a Star Wars film directed by Raimi would be very humorous, full of frantic energy and could be just the thing to help boost the Star Wars franchise.

Neil Blomkamp should be tossed into the list because ever since his film District 9 was released and received so much acclaim, geeks all over the Internet keep touting him for every potential genre film. So why not here? Besides his background as a 3D animator and his talent as a director should put him on the short list. BTW that prawn mechanical battle suit in District 9 looks like it would blend in well in a Star Wars film.

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