Lucasfilm Crushes CGI Leia Rumors

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Earlier this week, a distasteful rumor that Lucasfilm was going to use CGI (like we just saw in Rogue One) to recreate the late Carrie Fisher for future appearances of Princess Leia in the Skywalker saga began to spread like wildfire when BBC Newsnight reported that Lucasfilm was reportedly negotiating with Fisher’s estate for the continued use of her likeness. But thankfully, Lucasfilm has responded to the rumor, crushing it with their official statement:

We don’t normally respond to fan or press speculation, but there is a rumor circulating that we would like to address. We want to assure our fans that Lucasfilm has no plans to digitally recreate Carrie Fisher’s performance as Princess or General Leia Organa.

Carrie Fisher was, is, and always will be a part of the Lucasfilm family. She was our princess, our general, and more importantly, our friend. We are still hurting from her loss. We cherish her memory and legacy as Princess Leia, and will always strive to honor everything she gave to Star Wars.

Myself, many Star Wars fans, and most importantly Carrie Fisher’s family are still mourning the untimely loss of Carrie. While I don’t think the use of a CGI Leia would be unethical, it would, however, be insensitive this close to Fisher’s death. As we saw just a few years ago, Universal Pictures had to recreate the likeness of Paul Walker using CGI and his brothers, both Caleb and Cody (along with the blessing of Walker’s family) to complete Paul’s scenes in Furious 7 when Paul tragically passed away in a car accident midway through the film’s production. That is now the case, however, with Fisher.

Carrie had already completed her scenes for Episode VIII before she passed away but that doesn’t mean the film won’t be affected. Insiders have told THR that at least two major scenes from the upcoming films (Episode VIII and Episode IX) will be affected including (spoiler warning) a reunion between Princess Leia and her brother, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), and a confrontation between Leia and her son, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), over the murder of his father, Leia’s husband, Han Solo (Harrison Ford). Lucasfilm has already begun to develop a plan to weigh out the options with Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow. Considering Episode VIII isn’t due out until the end of this year, Lucasfilm has plenty of time to come with a way to alter the storyline that not only serves the franchise best but also honors the memory of Carrie Fisher.

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SOURCE: LUCASFILM

Woody Harrelson Confirms His Role as a Mentor to Han Solo

Just yesterday, Woody Harrelson officially joined the cast of the young Han Solo film which is getting underway at Pinewood studios in London. The actor has been rumored to play a character who serves as a mentor to the slimy no good swindler but until now that has remained just a rumor.

In a recent chat with Mashable on Facebook, Harrelson confirmed he would indeed be a mentor to Solo but also revealed a new tidbit regarding the character:

“I’m a mentor to Han, but I’m also a bit of a criminal. I don’t think I should say much more than that because the Force is not allowing me.”

Harrelson joins the cast with Alden Ehrenreich starring as the young Han Solo as well as Donald Glover as the young Lando Calrissian. Emilia Clarke also joined the cast recently in a role that is still currently unknown. President of Lucasfilm, Kathleen Kennedy has described the young Han Solo film as a western with a color palette influenced by the paintings of Frederic Remington. The script has been penned by Star Wars writing veteran Lawrence Kasdan and son Jon Kasdan. With cinematographer Bradford Young on board, the film has the potential to have a bold look and feel that could strike a perfect balance between humor and drama.

The Untitled Han Solo Story is slated to hit theaters May 25, 2018, however, there is a rumor the film could be shifted to December 13, 2018.

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SOURCE: MASHABLE

Woody Harrelson Officially Joins Young Han Solo Movie

Just last week, THR reported Woody Harrelson was in talks with Lucasfilm to join the Young Han Solo standalone feature which will begin filming next month at Pinewood studios. Lucasfilm has now confirmed Harrelson has indeed been cast in the project. His role, however, is still unknown but the rumor is that Harrelson will play a character that serves as a mentor to the young Solo played by Alden Ehrenreich.

Woody Harrelson has joined the cast of the upcoming untitled Han Solo film. [Link in bio] #StarWars

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The film’s directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller released a statement regarding the casting of Harrelson:

“We couldn’t be more excited to work with an artist with as much depth and range as Woody. His ability to find both humor and pathos, often in the same role, is truly unique. He is also very good at ping pong.”

The cast also includes Donald Glover as the young Lando Calrissian and Emilia Clarke in a role that is still currently unknown. President of Lucasfilm, Kathleen Kennedy has described the young Han Solo film as a western with a color palette influenced by the paintings of Frederic Remington. The script has been penned by Star Wars writing veteran Lawrence Kasdan and son Jon Kasdan. With cinematographer Bradford Young on board, the film has the potential to have a bold look and feel that could strike a perfect balance between humor and drama.

The Untitled Han Solo Story is slated to hit theaters May 25, 2018, however, there is a rumor the film could be shifted to Holiday 2018. MakingStarWars.net claims to have a source in the theater industry that has received a release date for a Star Wars film on December 13, 2018. While May was the home of Star Wars for many decades, Star Wars has become part of the holiday season in the new era of the franchise.

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SOURCE: LUCASFILM

‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ Will Dig Deeper Into The Characters

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When Star Wars returned to cinemas at the end of 2015, the franchise introduced us to a new set of iconic heroes as well as a villain who solidified himself as one of the most flawed and interesting villains in Star Wars history. While everyone was intrigued and captivated by Rey thanks to the powerful performance given by Daisy Ridley, the most interesting and layered character by far was Kylo Ren played by Adam Driver.

Kylo Ren felt more like a real person than most Star Wars characters. Driver portrayed a man who was struggling to be something he wasn’t as Kylo seemed to almost overcompensate with his forceful step through scenes in which he aspired to be as menacing as his Grandfather Darth Vader. He used his mask as a pure intimidation tactic to instill fear in his enemies as he knew his scarless, clean shaven face wouldn’t frighten anybody. Throughout the film, the man formerly known as Ben Solo struggled between the dark and the light side of the force but in the end ultimately made the choice to extinguish the light within him and fully commit himself to evil when he murdered his father, Han Solo.

While Kylo was a fully fleshed out three-dimensional character, the same cannot be said for the other new characters introduced in The Force Awakens. One of the biggest complaints coming out of the film was that the new characters of Rey, Finn (John Boyega), and Poe (Oscar Isaac) were rather thin and as much as I loved them, I have to agree. Adam Driver recently told Larry King that Episode VIII will explore Kylo Ren’s humanity, or what little he has left of it, but now the film’s director, Rian Johnson, while speaking with USA Today offered up new details teasing that the film will dig deeper into the core of the new characters:

“I wanted to know more about each of them, and that doesn’t just mean information or backstory. Figure out what’s the most difficult thing each of them could be challenged with now — let’s throw that at them and dig into what really makes them tick by seeing how they handle that.”

Nothing about the plot for Episode VIII is known at this point other than it will pick up directly where The Force Awakens left off but Lawrence Kasdan, the writer of The Empire Strikes BackReturn of the Jedi, and The Force Awakens called the script for Episode VIII “weird” which is a compliment coming from Kasdan. Adam Driver has teased the film will be “darker” in tone, comparing it to how Empire was a darker film than A New Hope, and John Boyega has said that Johnson has managed to craft a Star Wars film that has an “indie movie” feel. But Johnson has promised that while the film — said to be weird and dark as it digs deeper into the characters — will have the same fun factor that The Force Awakens and the classic trilogy had:

“I want it to be a blast and to be funny and to be a ride the way The Force Awakens and the original Star Wars movies were.”

Star Wars: Episode VIII hits theaters December 15, 2017.

The film stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar IsaacDomhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, Benicio del Toro, Laura Dern, Kelly Marie Tran, and Andy Serkis. Written and directed by Rian Johnson.

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SOURCE: USA TODAY

‘Star Wars Rebels’: “Ghosts of Geonosis” Clip

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Ahead of tonight’s mid-season premiere of Star Wars Rebels, Lucasfilm has released a clip from the episode revealing the Rebels debut of Saw Gerrera voiced by Forest Whitaker. The clip gives us a preview of Kanin, Ezra, and Captain Rex as they attempt to rescue Saw from Geonosis.

Star Wars Rebels returns with a special hour-long two episode mid-season premiere tonight at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on DisneyXD.

Episode VIII to Explore Kylo Ren’s Humanity

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At this point, the only things known about the next chapter of the Skywalker Saga, the untitled Episode VIII, is that the film will break Star Wars tradition and rather than taking place months or years later, the film will pick up immediately where The Force Awakens left off with Rey’s plea-turned-demand for Luke to return to the galaxy with her in an effort to restore balance to the force. That and the film will include a larger role for Carrie Fisher than she had in Episode VII.

A trailer isn’t due to drop until the spring but Adam Driver has given fans a small tidbit to chew on until then. While speaking with Larry King, Driver told King fans can look forward to seeing Kylo Ren’s humanity explored in Episode VIII, or what little he has left of it:

“I think, I mean this is such a general answer, but you know, humanity. Even though it’s very much a blockbuster movie, and I’m aware of that, there was no taking that for granted in that we were forced to be general. You know, there were a lot of plot points that we knew were operating in the first one that we get to explain more in the second one that kind of make the both of them make sense. They do kind of feel kind of socially active to me. In that they’re – this is a long answer, but George Lucas originally – you know a lot of Star Wars was in response to Vietnam and I think a lot of what the, I remember talking to JJ and Ryan with this idea of terrorism and two sides kind of being morally justified to behave however they wanted to to get what they thought was absolutely correct.”

Back when Star Wars was created, the world was much simpler. Things were much more black and white than the rather gray world we live in today. As we just saw with Rogue One, Lucasfilm is doing their best to address that and have the films of this new Star Wars era represent the world as it is today. As far as Kylo Ren’s humanity goes, I don’t think he has much of it left. Some fans have speculated we’ll eventually see him redeem himself in the final chapter of the new trilogy, however. I don’t think that is possible and it’s not because he killed his father. It’s what killing his father meant. The test Kylo was facing was when he killed his father essentially the same test Vader faced in his final confrontation with Luke. It was a test to extinguish the light within himself and commit himself to the dark side for good. I don’t think there is any coming back from the dark side for Kylo.
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SOURCE: LKN

Lucasfilm Sets Meeting to Develop a Plan for Leia After the Loss of Carrie Fisher

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As Carrie Fisher’s family and Star Wars fans around the world mourn the loss of Carrie, Lucasfilm has begun to look to the future in order to develop a plan to rework the story for Episode IX due to the untimely death of the franchise’s beloved Princess.

THR reports Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow will fly to Los Angeles next week to meet with Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy to weigh out the options of how to alter the storyline in a way that not only serves the franchise best but also honors the memory of Carrie Fisher.

Insiders told THR that at least two major scenes from the upcoming films will be affected including (spoiler warning) a reunion between Princess Leia and her brother, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), and a confrontation between Leia and her son, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), over the murder of his father, Leia’s husband, Han Solo (Harrison Ford).

While It’s not something I care too much about at the moment, although I’m sure I will greatly going forward, Lucasfilm has plenty of time to come up with something that makes sense and serves the story well with Episode IX not due to start shooting for a few more months and the release of Episode VIII just under a year away. My only hope is that it doesn’t end up being something implausible like Paul Walker’s exit from the Fast franchise. Universal did they best they could mid-production of Furious 7 after the untimely loss of Walker, however. The exit of Brian O’Connor from the story doesn’t make much sense anymore with his brother-in-law, Vin Diesel, breaking bad in The Fate of the Furious.

Leia’s scenes could be reshot to work an exit for her character into the story or they could use CGI most recently seen in Rogue One to work around Carrie’s death. While it wouldn’t be unethical, my money would be on the former as the use of CGI to resurrect Fisher in order to keep her character going seems a little insensitive this close to Fisher’s death. At least in the case of Furious 7, it was really only used to exit Walker from the franchise.

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SOURCE: THR