Star Wars Roundup

2/16/2013 Stephen Colbert 0 Comments



So, I wrote my initial reaction to Disney buying Star Wars, but over the past few months there have been quite a few rumors and some official announcements, so here's a roundup of what's worth talking about and a look of at what we can expect before 1015, at which point we will probably see at least 2 Star Wars movies a year comprised of additional episodes and stand alone installments (Marvel Universe anyone?) for as long as people are willing to buy tickets, so enjoy the next couple of years of silence before the storm.

Cast & Crew
There have only been a couple of official announcements about who is involved.  All casting announcements have been only rumors, but a few of them do hold some weight.  I'll start off with what has been confirmed.

"Creative Consultant" - George Lucas. Relax, he may have run it into the ground with the prequel trilogy, but I like a lot of what he did, he just got CGI happy and had too much control.  He is the heart and soul of the franchise and having his creative opinions, but not allowing to influence much else will be a good thing.

Director-J.J. Abrams.  There were a few mixed opinions on this choice, but overall, the internet geeked out with excitement.
Some people make fun of J.J. and his use of the lens flare, but go back and watch Star Wars.  Lens flare anyone?  J.J. has many times voiced that he was inspired to go into film because of the original trilogy, so I bet he even got this trait from George Lucas in the first place.
There were a few eyebrows raised about his involvement with the new Star Trek movies, but he said himself when those were released that he tried to make them more like Star Wars, so if you liked what he did with Star Trek, just imagine that as Star Wars in handcuffs.
I think he's perfect for the job, and the fact that he turned it down initially, but Kathleen Kennedy had to (and was willing to) beg him is what I would consider a start on the right foot for picking the franchise back up.  They want quality and won't settle.

Writer - Michael Arndt.  Another good pick.  I really like what he did with Toy Story 3 and Little Miss Sunshine, showing that he may be able to help return the heart Star Wars seemed to miss in the prequels.  He is also involved with writing Oblivion, so hopefully we'll be able to see his hand at something a little closer to the Star Wars genre soon.

Producer - Kathleen Kennedy. She keeps on appearing on screen with George Lucas and they say a lot about how important she is to Lucasfilm and Star Wars, but she's not credited as having any part in any Star Wars movie, so I'm not sure I understand that connection, but she has been involved with Indiana Jones and a lot of other projects with Spielberg such as Lincoln, Schindler's List, several Jurassic Park installments, so she's overall done well, but she was also an Executive Producer for The Last Airbender, so.... I don't think her involvement is anything other than organizational. Probably doesn't matter much.  She's made good choices with crew so far, though.

Writer/Producer - Simon Kinberg. Really Mixed bag here.  He wrote X-Men First Class (good in my book), but was an executive producer for Abraham Lincoln-Vampire Hunter (bad in most people's book) and X-Men: Last Stand (also bad in most people's book).  I think the things to watch for is Elysium and X-Men: Days of Future Past.  I'm positive, but he has a couple questionable credits.

Writer/Producer - Lawrence Kasdan. Lawrence has had some questionable credits in his day, but he wrote the screenplay for The Empire Strikes Back, Return of The Jedi, and Raiders of the Lost Ark.  It's obvious why they chose him, they want to recreate the magic of the original trilogy, and he is largely responsible for the success of Star Wars past A New Hope. He also adapted the story of Shadows of the Empire for the video game, which attaches him directly to what I would consider 3 of the best Star Wars stories out there.

That's about it for official attachments. Although the following rumors don't have a lot of backing, I'll be talking about some of the more legitimate looking rumors.

Yoda - Frank Oz.  Who else is going to play Yoda?  The question for me, is how likely is it that he will be involved at all?  Well, one of the rumored spin off stories is a Yoda story, which could be interesting if done right.

Writer/Director - Zack Snyder.  Zack is rumored to be involved in creating a standalone movie similar to the classic 7 Samurai, but with Jedi.  This might be one and the same as the Yoda spin off, but who knows at this point.  There have been several people that have denied this, but people in Hollywood lie all the time.  I think most Star Wars fans would like to see a Zack Snyder Star Wars movie and I think it definitely belongs as a standalone film.  Watch this and you will know if you like this idea or not.

Han Solo - Harrison Ford. This one just broke a couple days ago.  Of the original actors, he is the least likely to come back.  He has said in interviews in the past that he wished Han was killed off in Return of the Jedi, and it has been rumored that killing off the character was a condition of him taking the part this time.  We'll see.  I don't mind having the original cast in so long as they take a minor role and are in just for continuity.  There are also rumors of a Han Solo spin off film, obviously (hopefully?) they will choose a younger actor for this.  I'm a big fan of Josh Holloway getting the job, but he may be too old, unfortunately.  He'd be too perfect for anyone that ever said "Han shot first."

Mace Windu - Samuel L. Jackson. Another candidate for the Snyder film probably. This doesn't amount to much as he just said he was on board if there was a part. Not many people would be thrilled by this because prequels, but I think a Snyder style Star Wars would suit him well. Besides, when was the last time you saw SLJ turn down a part?

Obi-Wan Kenobi - Ewan McGregor. This was again just Ewan saying he was down to be involved. I'm not sure where they'd fit him in or if anyone cares to see him again. If they do anything post original trilogy, they need to use CGI Alec Guiness ghost, but they could use Ewan's voice there maybe. I think I've covered anything of substance here.  J.J. Abrams is notoriously secretive about his production, which is good for this movie, but enjoy the relative quiet for now, because it very well may become all star wars all the time once the first trailer hits sometime 2014 or 2015.  I'm excited, but we've all said that in the 90's.

Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher (Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia) have both been rumored to have talked to George Lucas and said they're in, but that's the most development we've seen here, so I don't have much to say about it.  If this is a movie about the original cast flying around in the Millennium Falcon, then they made all the wrong choices.

May the force be with us all.

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