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Milk the Franchise | April 25, 2017

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Star Wars
 
STAR WARS EPISODE VII: THE FORCE AWAKENS
RELEASE DATE:
December 18, 2015
DIRECTOR: J.J. Abrams
STORY/CREATIVE CONSULTANT: George Lucas
SCREENPLAY: J.J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt (1st Draft)
PRODUCERS: Kathleen Kennedy, Bryan Burk
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Tommy Harper and Jason McGatlin
CAST: Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher , Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Daisy Ridley,  Max von Sydow, Crystal Clarke, Pip Anderson
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Daniel Mindel
PRODUCTION DESIGNER: Rick Carter and Darren Gilford
EDITORS: Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey
SPECIAL EFFECTS SUPERVISOR: Chris Corbould
SOUND DESIGNER: Ben Burtt
SUPERVISING SOUND EDITOR: Matthew Wood
VISUAL EFFECTS SUPERVISOR: Roger Guyett
MUSIC: John Williams
COSTUME DESIGNER: Michael Kaplan
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Lucasfillm, Bad Robot Productions
DISTRIBUTOR: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures 
 

Star Wars Episode VII is the first film of the third trilogy of George Lucas’s science fiction franchise that began in 1977. This will be the first film under the new Disney/Lucasfilm partnership. As part of Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm in  October 2012, Lucas turned over story treatments for Episodes VII, VIII & IX which he began writing in the early 1970’s.

Although there is no confirmation what the the stories will be about, based on clues from George Lucas from the past 3+ decades, this is what we know:

  • The droids R2-D2 and C-3PO are the only characters that appear in all 9 of the main feature films. They act as narrators and keepers of adventures from that galaxy far, far away. A brief idea of their role can be seen when they tell their adventures to the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi
  • Episode VII takes place 20-40 years after Return of the Jedi. With the possible inclusion of the three main characters of the original trilogy and the release date of Episode VII, it will be 32 years.
  • The new trilogy would deal with the rebuilding of the Republic after the fall of the Empire in Return of the Jedi.
  • In 1980, Lucas said the saga will focus around “a core group of people, a family.”
  • Luke Skywalker will have a romantic relationship with a female love interest
  • Moral and philosophical problems will be the main theme of the new trilogy. Characters will need the wisdom to choose between right from wrong.
  • The main three actors; Luke, Han and Leia will be in their 60’s and 70’s

Over the years, Lucas has claimed from time to time that there were 12 main stories to the entire saga, but the only official announcement from Disney is continue the franchise up to the 9th Episode and at least three standalone films. Lucas biographer Dale Pollack said he read the  outlines to 12 Episodes in the 1980’s but signed a confidentiality agreement and is unable to discuss the details. He has stated “The three most exciting stories were 7, 8 and 9. They had propulsive action, really interesting new worlds, new characters. I remember thinking, ‘I want to see these 3 movies.'” He also added these outlines had Luke in his 30s and 40s.

In 1991 a new Expanded Universe to the Star Wars galaxy was born with the publication of the first novel of a new trilogy that takes place 5 years after the events of Return of the Jedi. Written by Timothy Zahn and officially approved by Lucasfilm, made the New York Times Bestseller list and spawned a bumper crop of dozens of new publications and games, focusing on  the main characters of the Original Trilogy. Zahn met with Lucas before writing his novels and said he was briefed on sequel plans so as not to conflict with his novels and storylines and/or character development. In 2012 Zahn said “The original idea as I understood it—and Lucas changes his mind off and on, so it may not be what he’s thinking right now—but it was going to be three generations. You’d have the original trilogy, then go back to Luke’s father and find out what happened to him, and if there was another 7th, 8th or 9th film, it would be Luke’s children.”

In April, 2014, Lucasfilm announced that all Expanded Universe material set after the events of EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI will not be used and EPISODE VII will essentially start from a clean slate.

On May 18, 2013, starwars.com posted: “It has also been confirmed that Star Wars: Episode VII is set about 30 years after the events of Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, and will star a trio of new young leads along with some very familiar faces. No further details on casting or plot are available at this time.”

Star Wars Episode VII

The cast for Episode VII was announced April 2014.

 On Set Production Pics

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Cast

In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek in March 2013, Lucas as much as revealed that Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill would appear in Episode VII. “We had already signed Mark and Carrie and Harrison—or we were pretty much in final stages of negotiation. So I called them to say, ‘Look, this is what’s going on [with the Disney-Lucasfilm sale],'” Lucas said, before adding, “Maybe I’m not supposed to say that. I think they want to announce that with some big whoop-de-do, but we were negotiating with them. I won’t say whether the negotiations were successful or not.”Hamill confirmed  saying, “They’re talking to us. George wanted to know whether we’d be interested. … we haven’t signed any contracts.” Hamill said he knew nothing about the storyline.In March 2013, Fisher apparently said she had been signed for the film,but when this was reported, her representative said that Fisher had been joking and nothing had been announced.  In September 2013, Robert Englund (aka Freddy Krueger) longtime friend of Mark Hamill said that Hamill was currently working out in the gym. Englund stated “Mark now — they’ve got Mark in the gym, because Mark’s coming back as Luke Skywalker. They’ve got him doing his sit ups.” It was previously reported that both Hamill and Fisher had been assigned nutritionists and personal trainers to work with ahead of production. Producers were said to be fine with the shape that Ford was currently in.

Since June 2013, numerous casting calls have been leaked:

  • “Male, 7 ft. to 7.3 ft. tall with a slim/thin build and upright posture. Not too worked out or too ‘thick set’ especially in the shoulders. Broad facial features would be a bonus”
  • Young woman to play an 17-18-year old and a young man to play a 19-23 year old. Disney is seeking a smart “beautiful, smart and athletic” actress. “RACHEL – Was quite young when she lost her parents. With no other family, she was forced to make her way in a tough, dangerous town. Now 17, she has become street smart and strong. She is able to take care of herself using humor and guts to get by”
  • “Male, handsome, smart and athletic.Thomas – Has grown up without a father’s influence,” the casting call reads. “Without the model of being a man, he doesn’t have the strongest sense of himself, despite this he is smart, capable and shows courage when it is needed. He can appreciate the absurdities in life and understands you can’t take life too seriously.”
  • Late-teen female, independent, good sense of humour, fit.
  • Young twenty-something male, witty and smart, fit but not traditionally good looking.
  • A late twenty-something male, fit, handsome and confident.
  • Seventy-something male, with strong opinions and tough demeanour. Also doesn’t need to be particularly fit.
  • A second young female, also late teens, tough, smart and fit.
  • Forty something male, fit, military type.
  • Thirty-something male, intellectual. Apparently doesn’t need to be fit.
Production

Production will begin sometime in May 2014 in Pinewood Studios in England. In September 2013, production spaces have been converted in J.J. Abrams Bad Robot facilities in California for additional shooting. Cinematographer Daniel Mindel confirmed shooting will be on 35mm film (Kodak 5219) and that the film will rely on real-world locations and scale models to make the film aesthetically similar to the original trilogy and away from the computer-generated approach of the prequels.

Television Series

There is one animated TV series in production; STAR WARS: REBELS premiered in Autumn, 2014 and covers the events between Episode III and IV, with the rise of the Rebel Alliance. The series features several characters from the feature films, including C-3PO, R2-D2 and Grand Moff Tarkin.

 

 

 

STAR WARS EPISODE VIII
RELEASE DATE:
May 26, 2017
DIRECTOR: Rian Johnson
WRITER: Rian Johnson
BASED ON CHARACTERS CREATED BY: George Lucas
PRODUCERS: Ram Bergman, Kathleen Kennedy, Lawrence Kasdan, SImon Kinberg
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: J.J. Abrams
CONFIRMED CAST: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Benicio del Toro, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher
PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Lucasfilm, Kasdan Pictures, Genre Pictures
DISTRIBUTOR: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
PRODUCTION START: September 2015

 

 

STAR WARS EPISODE IX
RELEASE DATE:
May, 2019
DIRECTOR: Colin Trevorrow
WRITER: Rian Johnson (story treatment)
PRODUCERS: Kathleen Kennedy, Ram Bergman
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Lucasfilm
DISTRIBUTOR: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
 
 
 
STAR WARS ANTHOLOGY : ROGUE ONE
RELEASE DATE:
December 16, 2016
DIRECTOR: Gareth Edwards
WRITER: Chris Weitz, Gary Whitta (first draft)
PRODUCERS: Kathleen Kennedy, John Knoll, Tony To, John Schwartz
CAST: Felicity Jones, Ben Mendelsohn
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Lucasfilm
DISTRIBUTOR: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
 
Rogue One is the first of three proposed spinoff films in the Star Wars universe. The plot was revealed by director Gareth Edwards at Star Wars Celebration (4/19/15), and it centers around a group of Rebel fighters who steal the Death Star plans leading up to Episode IV: A New Hope. The film will be the first in the franchise with a female lead (Felicity Jones) and will be the  first not to include any Jedi Knights.

 

 

STAR WARS ANTHOLOGY: UNTITLED HAN SOLO ORIGIN FILM
RELEASE DATE:
May 25, 2018
DIRECTOR: Chris Miller and Phil Lord
WRITERS: Lawrence Kasdan and Joe Kasdan
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Lucasfilm
DISTRIBUTOR: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

 

 

 

 

 

 

PREVIOUSLY RELEASED FILMS (in order of release date)

STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE
STAR WARS EPISODE V: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
STAR WARS EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI
STAR WARS EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE
STAR WARS EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES
STAR WARS EPISODE III: REVENGE OF THE SITH
THE CLONE WARS

 
TELEVISION SERIES

STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL
CARAVAN OF COURAGE
THE BATTLE FOR ENDOR
DROIDS
EWOKS
THE GREAT HEEP
CLONE WARS
THE CLONE WARS

 
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