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Star Wars news archive

An archive of Star Wars news articles published back when we did that sort of thing.

    According to the US Social Security Administration, the name "Anakin" has joined the top 1000 baby names.

    The official list of most popular baby names in the United States has been revealed, and according to the SSA "Anakin" has joined the top 1000 names. Last year, 218 newborns were recorded with the name Anakin, making this the 957th most popular boys name for 2014 in the US. 
    Hopefully these little Anakins won't follow in the footsteps of their namesake and turn to the dark side of the Force and terrorise the galaxy.
    Leia also appears on the list, as the 509th most popular girls name, and while not unique to Star Wars, Luke has remained a popular name for boys with over 10,000 entries putting it near to the top of the list at 28th place.

    Rumors have surfaced that suggest Peter Cushing's likeness is to be digitally recreated for Star Wars: Rogue One.

    Peter Cushing, the acclaimed British actor who died in 1994, was cemented into Star Wars fandom when he portrayed Grand Moff Tarkin in the original 1977 Star Wars movie. 
    Tarkin was the commander of the first Death Star whose stern gaze and authoritative barks even seemed to have control over even Darth Vader. As if this didn't make him fearsome enough, he destroyed Alderaan along with it's billions of inhabitants just to prove a point.
    According to British tabloid, the Daily Mail, Cushing is set to make a comeback to Star Wars more than twenty years after his death in order to reprise his role as the Imperial governor thanks to digital visual effects. 
    A source told the Daily Mail that they were trawling through hours of old footage of the late actor so that they can accurately capture his likeness, right down to the way he walked.

    Disney have officially confirmed that plans are under way to create Star Wars themed lands at their theme parks.

    CEO Bob Iger has finally put an end to months of rumor and speculation regarding Disney's plans for Star Wars theme parks by announcing that both Hollywood Studios in Orlando, and Disneyland in Anaheim will be host to fully themed Star Wars lands.
    The announcement was made at Disney's D23 Expo and details ambitious plans for the two new areas, which would each be over 14-acres in size. Iger explained that they aim to push the boundaries of what is possible and that these new parks will take that aim to a new level, giving fans a whole galaxy to explore.
    There will be two signature attractions, including a Millennium Falcon flight simulator and an epic adventure that promises to put guests in the midst of a climactic battle.
    While fans wait for Star Wars land to become a reality, Disney will continue to update it's attractions, with a The Force Awakens update coming to the Star Tours ride later this year, and a new attraction called the Launch Bay which will allow fans to see Star Wars props and costumes and artwork.
    Also, next year will see the first 'Season of the Force' at the Orlando and Anaheim parks with exclusive events, with Space Mountain becoming Hyperspace Mountain with Star Wars music, visual effects, and more.
    It has yet to be announced whether these additions will also be replicated at Disney's international locations.
    Tom Baker has casually let slip to fans that he has signed on for a voice-over role in an upcoming Star Wars project. 
    Baker's best known role is as the fourth incarnation of The Doctor, the enigmatic and often eccentric focus of the long-running British television show, Doctor Who, and he has voiced numerous commercials and other shows, such as the comedy sketch show Little Britain, and his last on-screen appearance was in Doctor Who's 50th anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor.
    “I’m going down to record some voices for this new character they’ve created for me,” he told fans as he signed autographs at a Doctor Who convention in Slough, UK, earlier this month.
    There has been no hints as to the exact role Baker would be taking on, or which exact project he would be involved in. With The Force Awakens due for release within the next few months, it is more likely that Baker's role would be in a different production, such as the animated show, Star Wars: Rebels.

    Lucasfilm has announced that Colin Trevorrow has been hired as the director for Star Wars Episode IX, due in 2019.

    Star Wars Episode IX will be the third instalment and conclusion of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, following on from upcoming The Force Awakens, out this December.
    Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm, has described Colin Trevorrow, 38, as "an incredible talent" and said she has been looking forward to working with him since 2012's Safety Not Guaranteed. "The power of that film paired with the enormous success of Jurassic World speaks volumes about his abilities both as a storyteller and skilled film-maker", she said.
    Jurassic World, itself the foundation for a new trilogy in the Jurassic Park franchise, has taken over $1.5 billion at the box office worldwide, and Trevorrow has indicated that helming the ninth episode of the Star Wars saga is not just another job, saying that the role "is a seat at a campfire, surrounded by an extraordinary group of storytellers, film-makers, artists and craftspeople".
    Trevorrow's Star Wars Episode IX will release in 2019 and follow in the footsteps of JJ Abrams' The Force Awakens, and Rian Johnson's episode VIII in 2017.
    Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be released on 18 December 2015.

    Rogue One cast and crew announced

    By Andy, in The Movies,

    Lucasfilm has today revealed the cast and crew of upcoming Star Wars: Rogue One, along with a publicity shot of the cast as the film enters principal photography.

    Rogue One, the first of the Star Wars spin-off or anthology films has entered principal photography today, with the official Star Wars site announcing a stellar cast to tell the story of a group of resistance fighters coming together to steal the plans for the first dreaded Death Star.
    Initially titled as Star Wars Anthology films, the spin-offs, including Rogue One appear to have been rebranded as "a Star Wars story", according to new title graphics which have also been revealed.
    The film, which is being directed by Godzilla remake director Gareth Edwards and produced by Kathleen Kennedy, promises to be new territory for Star Wars; "exploring the galactic struggle from a ground-war perspective while maintaining that essential Star Wars feel that fans have come to know".
    An ensemble cast has been selected to tell this new tale, including Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), Diego Luna (Milk, Elysium), Ben Mendelsohn (Bloodline), Donnie Yen (Ip Man, Blade II), Jiang Wen (Let the Bullets Fly), Forest Whitaker (The Butler, The Last King of Scotland), Mods Mikkelsen (Casino Royal), Alan Tudyk, and Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler, Four Lions).
    You can find full details of the cast and crew on the official Star Wars website.
    Star Wars: Rogue One is due for release on 16 December 2016.

    Iconic movie poster artist, Drew Struzan has created a new poster for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which confirms previous rumors about some of the new cast members.

    At the Disney's D23 Expo this week, fans were treated to a new The Force Awakens teaser in the form of a poster from Drew Struzan, the artist behind the official posters for all six Star Wars films. 
    Struzan, who had previously retired, has an impressive list of credits to his name, including the iconic movie posters for Indiana Jones, Back to the Future, and The Goonies, and over 150 other movies.
    Although sources at Disney have stated that the poster seen at D23 is not the final The Force Awakens movie poster, it certainly provides a glimpse of what we can expect.
    The poster, which features an aged Han Solo, alongside newcomers Rey and Finn, also shows Kylo Renn, TIE fighters, a moisture farm, and curiously three suns in the background.
    The big new reveal you can take from the poster is the fact that Finn is welding a lightsaber; which, although difficult to see in the poster, appears to be Anakin Skywalker's original lightsaber which was lost by Luke in The Empire Strikes Back. It had already been confirmed that this lightsaber would be one of the plot points of The Force Awakens, but this is the first real confirmation that one of the new characters will be carrying it.
    Entertainment Weekly has also revealed exclusive new The Force Awakens photographs, which you should probably check out.

    New rumors have surfaced regarding the events of Star Wars Episode VIII and anthology film Rogue One.

    Star Wars: Rogue One is the first of the Star Wars anthology films that are set aside from the main series of movies, while still residing within the same canon universe, and new rumors have recently come to light that suggest that work is under way to construct a secret rebel base in Cardington Shed 2 in Bedfordshire, England.
    Shed 2 was the birthplace of early British airships, and in more recent years has acted a stage for filming Inception, Harry Potter, and in 1976 it housed the hidden rebel alliance base on Yavin IV. Leaked images from starwars7news.com appear to show a familiar location taking shape, suggesting that movie history may be about to repeat itself. Will Rogue One take us back to Yavin IV? It certainly looks that way.
    Other rumors also point to potential Rogue One spoilers, such as Birth.Movies.Death reporting that Darth Vader will make an appearance in the movie although not as it's main protagonist, and Bloody Disgusting say a source has informed them that Ben Mendelsohn will be playing an Imperial Moff who will be the main villian.
    As for Star Wars Episode VIII, rumor has it that actor Benicio Del Toro, who has recently been seen as The Collector in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, has been approached for the role of a villian. It is expected that the majority of The Force Awakens' new main cast members will be returning for the movie, which is being directed by Rian Johnson and produced by Ram Bergman and Kathleen Kennedy.
    Rogue One is scheduled for a 16 December 2016 release, while Episode VIII is due on 26 May 2017. 

    The first chapter of upcoming novel Star Wars: Aftermath has been revealed, showing the consequences of the rebel victory in Return of the Jedi.

    At the conclusion of the original Star Wars trilogy, Return of the Jedi showed us the final defeat of the Empire with the rebel alliance victory at the Battle of Endor causing celebration across the galaxy. But a new excerpt from Star Wars: Aftermath shows that this celebration may have been a little premature.
    Aftermath is the latest novel in the new Lucasfilm Story Group approved canon, and is written by science-fiction and fantasy author Chuck Wendig and is part of the Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens series that will fill in the 30-year gap between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.
    Entertainment Weekly have revealed the first chapter of Aftermath, which details what happened following the rebel victory, including the reaction of the Imperial authorities to the celebrations on Coruscant briefly seen on screen in the revised version of Return of the Jedi, and a rousing speech by Admiral Ackbar urging the citizens of the galaxy not be complacent now that the Emperor is dead.
    Star Wars: Aftermath is available from 4 September 2015.

    The Force Awakens at Comic-Con

    By Andy, in The Movies,

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens wowed attendees of San Diego Comic-Con 2015 this weekend with new information and a peek behind the scenes. Beware of spoilers!

    Star Wars and Comic-Con have been soul mates since way back in 1976 when Lucasfilm's Charley Lippincott attempted to drum up support for the original Star Wars movie by appealing the the sci-fi and fantasy lovers attending San Diego Comic-Con. It's no surprise then, that the powers that be have chosen to reveal new information about The Force Awakens at this year's event.
    Attendees this year were treated to a free concert featuring some of the saga's best scores by composer John Williams, with io9 stating that Lucasfilm "took the bar set by other studios in the past and blew it away like the Death Star".
    If spoilers are not your thing, then you may want to stop reading now, as I delve in to the new reveals from Comic-Con.
    Domhnall Gleeson's character is called General Hux, and is definitely not a good guy. Hux is the commander of Starkiller Base, which where the First Order has made their headquarters. Simon Pegg does appear to be inside an alien/creature suit in the behind the scenes video, putting rest to the rumors of his involvment in The Force Awakens (which he previously denied). Bobbajo is the name of the nomadic character we saw in JJ Abram's first video from the set of the desert planet we now know as Jakku. The next trailer for The Force Awakens will be ready in the fall. Rogue One will begin filming in three weeks time, according the Kathleen Kennedy, and will be filmed in 6K.  
    Also at San Diego Comic-Con, was this behind the scenes reel, just in case you need a little something extra to hype yourself up for The Force Awakens:

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