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Disney's Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo has shed some light on the company's plans for Star Wars, saying it will be following the same strategy as with the Marvel franchise. This will probably come as no surprise, as we have already been told of Disney's plan to release a new Star Wars movie every year, starting with Star Wars Episode VII and alternating between a Star Wars episode and a spin-off movie.
We can also expect to see television series tie-ins and rumour has it that after a recent Marvel deal with Netflix, we could see another new Star Wars show head that way too.
What else can we expect from this strategy? With Marvel so far, Disney has introduced characters and threads in stand-alone movies and sequels, then tied all the ends up to form a mega movie a-la Avengers. It seems highly likely that characters and storylines introduced in the Star Wars spin-offs and television shows will find their way into future instalments of the Star Wars saga, and if done correctly it could work well.
But as with anything Star Wars, the potential for a fan backlash is always there if things go wrong!
The prop weapon, based on a Mauser C96 handgun, used by Harrison Ford in the classic Star Wars trilogy is to be sold at an online auction. It is expected to sell for at least $200,000. Online auction house Invaluable is selling an original prop used by Harrison Ford in two Star Wars films. The weapon, which is non-firing, is based on a German Mauser C96 handgun and is one of several props made for use in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.
According to auctioneers, this particular model of Han Solo's trademark DL-44 blaster is a lighter version which would have been used in action-filled wide shots. Notably, it was used for the scene in Empire Strikes back when Darth Vader grabs Solo's blaster with the Force on Cloud City, and in Return of the Jedi when he wrestles with a stormtrooper on Endor.
The prop was made is resin using a cast of the original DL-44 prop used in the original Star Wars movie, which itself has since been lost. Due to this fact it carries the same serial number as the original.
In 2008 a Luke Skywalker lightsaber prop used by Mark Hamill was sold by producer Gary Kurtz for $240,000.
If you have a spare $200,000 and would like the chance to own this piece of Star Wars history, you can find the auction here:
We all have our own idea of what Star Wars Episode VII should or shouldn't contain, but here's a few things that I believe should make an appearance. Oh, and a few things I don't want to see! Kicking off my Episode VII character wishlist is hero of the Alliance (or Rebellion, depending on which side you're on), Wedge Antilles. Why? Because he has two Death Stars etched onto the side of his X-wing starfighter. And if that isn't reason enough, his exploits in the Star Wars expanded universe are legendary, with an impressive track record from leading the New Republic's Rogue Squadron to name but one of his accomplishments. Despite being one of few characters to be present at both the Battle of Yavin and Battle of Endor, he's had surprisingly little screen time and surely deserves more.
Mon Mothma became Chief of State of the New Republic in the expanded universe, but we didn't get to see much of her in the movies. Aside from briefing the Alliance forces during Return of the Jedi, she was originally supposed to be introduced as one of the founding members of the Alliance in Revenge of the Sith before her scenes were cut.
While we are unlikely to see anybody from the expanded universe make an appearance, there are a plethora of original characters that have never been seen on screen. Episode VII writers could do a lot worse than choose to include one of the following.
If an Imperial remnant plot emerges, I would love to see the likes of master tactician Grand Admiral Thrawn who rallied the disarrayed Imperial fleet in the wake of the Emperor's demise. He had a very different leadership style to Palpatine and Vader, encouraging creative solutions rather than executing harsh punishments for failure.
As for a new Jedi Order story, you don't get much cooler than Kyle Katarn, titular character of the Jedi Knight series of classic LucasArts video games, who started as a rebel operative and learnt the ways of the Force after discovering his Jedi heritage. Katarn is not your average hero, and initially fell to the dark side until he accepted was invited to join Luke Skywalker's new Jedi Praxeum, and even then was often criticised for veering off the path of the light side of the Force.
I can't really mention characters without talking about one I, and probably most other sane people, am not interested in seeing again: Jar Jar Binks. I don't think I need to explain.
Darth Vader can now post selfies! Star Wars has moved further into social media to build hype for Episode 7 and Star Wars Rebels by opening an Instagram account. They've already posted five pictures, three of which are from behind the scenes of the original trilogy, as well as a picture of "Slave Leias" from SDCC 2010 and a selfie from none other than Darth Vader himself!
To follow Star Wars on Instagram, search for user Starwars, but don't expect any follows back!
Plans by Disney to re-theme the Tomorrowland attraction at their Anaheim Disneyland theme park into a Star Wars attraction have been put on hold, according to reports. It was originally reported that Tomorrowland would be transformed into a Star Wars attraction, complete with speeder bikes and a landing pad featuring a Millennium Falcon walk-through where you would be meet Chewbacca and other famous Star Wars characters.
Insiders cite a lack of funds as Disney spend their budget on other developmental areas, but with Star Wars Episode VII still in the pipeline it is surely only a matter of time before the Imagineers get to giving Star Wars that bit of Disney magic at their world famous resorts.