I've been in a Force-orientated state of mind recently, so here's a question we've all been wondering for months now:
'What the heck is happening with Star Wars: Episode VII?!'
Last year the news happened; Disney bought Lucasfilm, Lucas himself was retiring and new Star Wars was on its way! And here's my response to that:
So, since that initial excitement (almost a year ago now), we've been...treated...to...many, many...well...morsels of...well, not even morsels really...more like 'crumbs'...of news...
See, this is the issue; we've heard next to nothing. Big events have happened this year; San Diego Comic-Con, Star Wars Celebration Europe II and Disney Expo 23...Three massive events perfect for Episode VII news, announcents and even panels...
Not a sausage.
It was even said that the majority of Disney Expo 23 attendees turned up for the potential of Episode VII news.
This lack of news, coupled with the shut-down of several pre-existing Lucasfilm projects (including Star Wars: The Clone Wars) has lead to an 'image' of a shady corporation. More disheartening than this have been the constant and tiresome rumours...The latest of which have attached Benedict Cumberbatch and Gene Hackman to the project. Actors from the previous films have constantly expressed interest in returning...Nothing. In fact; anything we have been told; we already knew.
The only real, official morsels of news over the past year have trickled through the internet, feeling like blood drawn from a stone. Is a bit of assurance too much to ask for?
So far, there are seven main things we know about Episode VII:
1. Who's Piloting the Ship
Kathleen Kennedy, new CEO of Lucasfilm, is one of the producers along with Bryan Burk, who is a long-time collaborator of J.J. Abrams, the director. Now then, I do have reservations with hiring such a big name...But then again he has proven himself with most of his film work (Star Trek Into Darkness being the notable exception). George Lucas himself is serving as the consultant, similar to what he did with The Clone Wars.
2. Who's Scoring
John Williams is returning; yay! Nobody more suitable to score, really.
3. Who's Writing
Toy Story 3 writer Michael Arndt has been penning the band new adventure. Given his proven talent with taking well known and established characters and settings after a relatively long gap (and cramming all the emotion and humour possible)...I have confidence that he can craft a great new journey.
4. Rough Timeline
Of course all the upcoming films will be set after Return of the Jedi. The issue this raises is the conflict with the Expanded Universe. Hopefully they'll be sensible and respect all the work that the authors and creators that have contributed to the saga. As far as we know, the story will be original and it will (most likely) take the events of the EU into account. The focus will (most likely) be on Luke's son; Ben Skywalker.
Production (i.e. Principal Photography) will begin early 2014. However as a UK resident, the most exciting point will be that filming will make a most welcome return to the UK! And in Pinewood Studios, no less! Much of the original trilogy was done at Pinewood. This effort to evoke the original trilogy is reflected in the next point...
...Which is actually the most exciting aspect, especially from a film-making standpoint; Episode VII will be shot on 35mm FILM! Episode I (1999) started toying with digital recording and then II (2002) & III (2005) were completely digitally shot. Now that digital cinema is more prevalent these days, it does make a bold (and welcome) statement to shoot Star Wars in 35mm again.
Of course this leads to one of the most exciting possibilities for VII, considering Abrams' last film; we may very well get the first ever Star Wars picture with IMAX.
Basically, these are basics...
I'm all for keeping things a surprise as much as possible this day and age, but they're just being silly now!
It's nearly been a year since the revelation of Episode VII and we don't even have a title.