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


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.



Kathleen Kennedy Teases Future Saw Gerrera Development



The Star Wars character of Saw Gerrera who first appeared in The Clone Wars animated series and most recently in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story — played by Forest Whitaker — is set to come full circle this January as he makes his debut on the DisneyXD animated series Star Wars: Rebels. But it seems Lucasfilm has further plans to develop Gerrera beyond Rebels in the future.

While speaking with Empire, President of Lucasfilm Kathleen Kennedy revealed we will see even more of the character in the future to come:

“To be honest, we originally thought we were going to develop Saw into something much larger, but we couldn’t accommodate it. So he is not in the movie as much as we would like to have him in the movie, which creates the opportunity to explore his character even further in our future development.”

Whitaker added:

“I’m curious about what else they’re about to do. Because they seem to really like the character, which is great!”

Whether it be a novel, comic, or some form of animation, there are several interesting points in Saw’s life that myself and surely many fans would like to see explored, one being the point in time (again, spoiler warning for Rogue One) when Saw is raising Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones). Jones, who has a sequel clause built into her contract, is still locked into the franchise for a future appearance if Lucasfilm comes calling. While there is no chance of her magically returning from the dead, Lucasfilm still has the opportunity to go back and tell an animated story of how she was essentially raised as a soldier by Saw only for him to abandon her at the age of 16 for her own safety.

Another interesting storyline for Gerrera would be to see the downward spiral of his health unfold. In Rogue One we see him in good condition when he rescues Jyn but later when she is taken to him on Jedha he relies on a ventilator to breathe and sports a robotic foot.

Hopefully, we will also get to see Saw’s extremist tactics and how he became a public relations nightmare leading to him splintering off from the rebellion with his own faction.




Kathleen Kennedy Hints at When We’ll See The First Trailer For Episode VIII


With Rogue One: A Star Wars Story finally here, it’s already time to start getting hyped for the next chapter in the Skywalker saga, Star Wars: Episode VIII. Rey’s adventure is just beginning, Star Wars fans are eager to get back to Ahch-To so they can pick up with Rey after she confronted Luke to return to the galaxy and help restore balance to the force. There were rumors of an Episode VIII trailer dropping with Rogue One, but that would have been a mistake as it would have taken away from the event of Rogue One and the masters of this new era of Star Wars know better than that.

That, however, will not stop the press from trying to get a scoop on just exactly when Star Wars fans can expect the first trailer for Episode VIII which is still currently without a title. Recently at an event for Rogue One (h/t Slashfilm),  Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy told BBC News Lizo Mzimba when we’ll get to see that trailer:

“Well, pretty soon. We’re giving [Rogue One] a little bit of breathing room, and then probably heading into spring, you’ll start to see things.”

If the marketing campaign for Rogue One is any indicator, we can expect the trailer to arrive as soon as Rogue One hits shelves on Blu-ray about 16 weeks post it’s theatrical release. Lucasfilm wasted no time with the first teaser for Rogue One which dropped the day after The Force Awakens hit Blu-ray. But it is also possible they could push the teaser or trailer back a week to give fans in attendance at Star Wars Celebration 2017 the first look at the next chapter of Rey’s adventure.

A rough cut of the film written and directed by Rian Johnson is most certainly in order as legendary composer John Williams began scoring the project two days ago.



Kathleen Kennedy Assures That a Woman Will Direct a Star Wars Film


The films of the Star Wars franchise are the most groundbreaking films in the history of Cinema. Lucasfilm has not only revolutionized filmmaking and the business of Hollywood once but twice. And possibly even a third time with The Force Awakens, as the franchise seems to have cracked the formula for the requel, a film that is both a sequel and a revival of a franchise simultaneously.

Selecting a director to helm a Star Wars film in this new era of the franchise is an arduous process. The franchise is moving into unknown territory as it moves the Skywalker saga forward with a new trilogy while at the same time expanding the universe with standalone features that spin-off from the Skywalker saga. The right director for these new films has to not only be a true fan whose genuine passion will shine through, but they also have to be able to separate themselves as a fan of the material. On top of that, the right director has to be able to handle the tremendous pressure and scrutiny that comes with the crafting a Star Wars film which can only be learned from the experience of already directing a blockbuster feature within the current studio system.

Earlier this week, President of Lucasfilm Kathleen Kennedy made headlines when she was quoted stating that at this point in time, no women directors in Hollywood were yet ready to take on a feature in the Star Wars franchise.

Today at the press conference for the upcoming Star Wars spin-off Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Kennedy was asked about her position on a woman director by Screencrush’s Erin Whitney to which she offered some candid clarification:


The Star Wars films have done a lot for female characters and female heroes, but the movies have yet to have a female director. You recently said that a woman who has no experience with blockbusters wasn’t suitable to direct a star wars movie, however multiple male directors have had that opportunity. So why is it different for women and —


That’s not true. This gentleman (points to Gareth) did Godzilla before we hired him to direct the movie. And that quote was taken out of context. And I, as you can imagine, have every intention of giving somebody an opportunity. So, if somebody actually moves through the process of making movies and wants to make a Star Wars movie, and shows that they have actually stepped into the role on that level, of course we’re going to consider a woman. That goes without saying.


Can you name any female directors that you think have potential to direct a Star Wars movie?


There are many. And I’ve talked to most of them. There are many out there.

While diversity continues to be a major issue in Hollywood, the subject of gender when it comes to directing a Star Wars feature is irrelevant. An individual’s race, gender, creed, or sexuality doesn’t factor into the process when Lucasfilm selects a director. It is based purely on experience and whether or not the individuals possesses the ability and the passion required for crafting the kind of quality film Disney is known for as well as a film that Star Wars fans deserve.

Chances are the first female to direct a Star Wars feature will be Ava Duvernay. Duvernay has already cut her teeth with Selma and is currently helming a new film version of A Wrinkle in Time for Disney. It was also revealed on the DVD commentary for The Force Awakens by JJ Abrams that Duvernay supplied him with the idea for one of the film’s most powerful scenes: when Rey closed her eyes to focus on the strength within her to harness the force so that she could defeat Kylo Ren in their duel on Starkiller Base.

Lucasfilm will most likely wait to see how A Wrinkle in Time fares but given the relationship with Disney as well as her contribution to The Force Awakens, Duvernay is in a better position to land the gig more than anyone.



Kathleen Kennedy Talks the Future of the Star Wars Franchise

The creative minds behind the new generation of Star Wars will meet in January to discuss and outline the future of the franchise.

As Entertainment Weekly revealed yesterday, Lucasfilm will host a top secret meeting this coming January to discuss and outline to future of the Star Wars franchise. Thanks to a new story published by EW, we now have an idea of just who will be in attendance, helping shape the continuation of the epic saga. The super secret summit will bring together the leading creatives behind the newest generation of Star Wars films to help shape the Star Wars universe for years to come.

EW asked President of Lucasfilm Kathleen Kennedy who exactly would be helping to decide where to take the franchise:

“The story team and the trust, and the visual effects team that we have been working with. We always pull in the directors and the writers that have been a part of these other three movies. We create pretty much a very collegiate group of people to share ideas.”

Hopefully, this means director JJ Abrams, as well as Rian Johnson and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, will continue to be involved. Kasdan wrote The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi plus co-wrote The Force Awakens with Abrams. Johnson, a brilliant filmmaker, has both written and directed the next chapter in the Skywalker Saga, the currently untitled Episode VIII.

The possibilities of where the franchise could go are endless. Die hard fans are aching to see a Knights of the Old Republic film or trilogy as well as a solo feature for Obi-Wan Kenobi. Actor Ewan McGregor who portrayed Kenobi in the prequel films has been campaigning to get the movie made himself.

Lucasfilm had a Boba Fett solo feature in development with Jost Trank (Chronicle, Fantastic Four) attached to direct, however. After word got out about the production woes on-set of the Fantastic Four, followed by the trainwreck of a film that was released, Trank was pulled from the project and it remains shelved for the time being. Lucasfilm had gone far enough into development that a teaser had planned to debut at Star Wars Celebration 2015 according to EW’s sources.

The big question that all Star Wars fans are asking is what happens beyond Episode IX? As of now, the last release set on the Star Wars calendar is Episode IX directed by Colin Trevorrow. Will the Skywalker saga come to a close? Or will Episode IX leave things open for a new beginning?

Kennedy revealed they don’t actually know but that it is currently being mulled over at Lucasfilm:

“That’s a conversation going on right now, too. I have to honestly tell you, could we [do nothing but stand-alones]? Sure. But I don’t know. We are looking at all of that.”

Lucasfilm has made the wise decision to restrain any further action until Rogue One is released into the world and the reaction to the film can be gauged. Even more pressure is now on Garreth Edwards and the rebel spies in Rogue One as the success or failure of the film will determine the direction the future of the franchise heads in.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters December 16, 2016.