According to The Verge, Disney is planning to release a new Star Wars film every summer for five years. This schedule will begin with Episode VII in 2015, VIII in 2017, and IX in 2019. Sandwiched between these releases will be standalone films, presumably starring some of the series’ more popular characters (Yoda, Han Solo and Boba Fett have all been rumoured.
George Lucas, from his awkward (though richly-furnished) office as the new ‘creative consultant’ on the Star Wars series (which, of course, he founded, raised to greatness… and then tarnished), recently confirmed, maybe accidentally, that Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford will, after 30+ years, be reprising their roles in the next mainline Star Wars film.
Business Week, in conversation with Lucas, reports:
Asked whether members of the original Star Wars cast will appear in Episode VII and if he called them before the deal closed to keep them informed, Lucas says, “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.’ ” He pauses. “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.” Then he adds: “I won’t say whether the negotiations were successful or not.”
Can anyone familiar with the Star Wars Expanded Universe stuff posit what timeframe and in what capacity Luke, Leia and Han might appear? Harrison Ford is 70 now, so it won’t be a spry, planet-hopping Han, surely. My grandfather-in-law is about 75. Man. Weird.
So, Disney bought Lucasfilm today, for $4bn. Crazy, right? And then there’s the announcement, midway through the press release: a seventh Star Wars film, with a working title of Episode 7, presumably taking place after the close of Return of the Jedi.
Kathleen Kennedy, current Co-Chairman of Lucasfilm, will become President of Lucasfilm, reporting to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn. Additionally she will serve as the brand manager for Star Wars, working directly with Disney’s global lines of business to build, further integrate, and maximize the value of this global franchise. Ms. Kennedy will serve as executive producer on new Star Wars feature films, with George Lucas serving as creative consultant. Star Wars Episode 7 is targeted for release in 2015, with more feature films expected to continue the Star Wars saga and grow the franchise well into the future.
The full press release can be read on The Walt Disney Company’s press site.
Huh. Some interesting news out of NYC Comic Con:
The other big announcement was the reveal of a third book in the upcoming “Rebels” standalone novels, all of which focus on the main characters in the original trilogy and which take place between Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back.
The new book, focused on Han Solo, will be written by James S. A. Corey, otherwise known as Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, the authors of the well-received space opera Leviathan Wakes (and its recent sequel Caliban’s War).
Han Solo, Chewie, Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck all combining forces? Will this be the third Star Wars novel that I ever read? Maybe.
What if Darth Vader lived in Feudal Japan?
Inspired by a simple question, artist Clinton Felker has produced a range of Samurai-influenced portraits of our favourite Imperial baddies (and a bounty hunter).
Kurosawa would be proud. More of Felker’s artwork can be found on his blog. Prints of his artwork are also available.