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Star Wars News & Features

News and information from a Galaxy Far Far Away, and sometimes a little closer to home.
    Bencio Del Toro, who has been a rumored link to Star Wars for some time now has been officially announced as a cast member for Star Wars Episode VIII. His role has not been revealed, but previous rumors have pointed towards his character being a villian. Del Toro has previously won an Oscar, Golden Globe, and a Bafta for his role in 2000's Traffic, and has also been seen in The Usual Suspects and Snatch.
    Laura Dern, who is perhaps most well known for her performance in Jurassic Park was also announced for Episode VIII, but her role has also not been confirmed. She has previously picked up a Golden Globe for the HBO comedy series Enlightened, and can also be seen in the rebooted Twin Peaks.
    Kelly Marie Tran is a relative newcomer who has also been confirmed. She has made numerous appearances in videos for CollegeHumor and has also had a role on the TV adaptation of About A Boy. 
    Confirmed returning cast members from The Force Awakens include Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Anthony Daniels, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, and Andy Serkis.
    Rian Johnson's Star Wars Episode VIII started filming on 15 February 2015 and will be released on 15 December 2017.

    BAFTA win for The Force Awakens

    By Andy, in General News,

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens has picked up a BAFTA win for Best Special Visual Effects at the 69th British Academy Film Awards. The event, held at London's Royal Opera House on 14 February 2016, saw The Force Awakens nominated in several categories.
    Also, actor John Boyega, who portrays Finn, secured the EE Rising Star Award which is awarded by public vote. Boyega beat off rivals Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service), Dakota Johnson (Fifty Shades of Grey), Brie Larson (Trainwreck), and Bel Powley (The Diary of a Teenage Girl).
    The Force Awakens had been nominated for several other categories, but fell short of victory to the following productions:
    John William's score was nominated for Best Original Music, but lost out to Ennio Morricone soundtrack for Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight. The award for Best Sound went to the team behind The Revenant. Mad Max: Fury Road picked up the Best Production Design award. This may serve to predict what may happen at the Oscars later this month, although things don't always work that way.
    The production team behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens is to be prosecuted by the UK's Health and Safety Executive following the accident at Pinewood Studios that left 73-year-old Han Solo actor Harrison Ford with a broken leg.
    Foodles Production (UK) Ltd, is set to appear before High Wycombe Magistrates Court in May to face charges relating to the failure of heath and safety proceedures that should have been set in place to ensure the safety of the cast and crew. Following investigations HSE detirmined that there were four breaches of health and safety law that the company directors must answer to, stating that "employers must take reasonable steps to protect workers - this is as true on a film set as a factory floor".
    The incident involved a hydraulic door, which was considered dangerous machinery for the purposes of the investigation, and will most likely leed to a fine for the company, which was set up in 2013 for the production of The Force Awakens.

    Episode VIII filming has begun

    By Andy, in The Movies,

    Filming has officially begun on the latest episode of the Star Wars saga. Episode VIII, which has not yet been given an official title was due to commence principle photography in January, but had apparently been delayed.
    In a discussion with investors, Disney CEO Bob Iger said "Filming of Star Wars: Episode VIII, the next chapter of the legendary saga, has just commenced and it will be in theaters December 2017. And production of Episode IX, a 2019 release, has also begun."
    We presume this means that Star Wars Episode IX has entered it's pre-production phase now that Rian Johnson's Episode VIII is filming. Not a lot is currently known about either of these two movies, aside from some key members of the cast from The Force Awakens who have been confirmed as returning.
    Iger has also confirmed that Rogue One has almost completed at this point, and the as yet untitled Han Solo movie will be starting production soon.
    The current Star Wars release schedule looks a little like this:
    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story - 16 December 2016 Star Wars Episode VIII - 15 December 2017 Untitled Han Solo film - 25 May 2018 Star Wars Episode IX - 2019  
    Captain Phasma, the chrome-clad commander of First Order forces on Starkiller Base will be returning in Star Wars Episode VIII, Phasma actress Gwendoline Christie has confirmed. She was quizzed on the red carpet for the 2016 SAG Awards, where she stated "I will be in the next Star Wars movie".
    The female leader of the stormtroopers did not have as large a role in The Force Awakens as had been expected, and the character had apparently met her untimely demise after being forced into a garbage chute in Starkiller Base as the Resistance made their attack.
    Fans had already speculated that since we never actually saw Captain Phasma's death it was likely that she had managed to make an escape, and it now looks like this was the case. Hopefully this time Phasma's role is expanded to more than just an incidental commanding chrometrooper with a cape.
    Star Wars Episode VIII will be released on 15 December 2017.
    Lego have revealed that their next video game will be Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens, continuing the Lego Star Wars saga and bringing it up to date with the latest movie.
    The game, developed by TT Games and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, will feature new characters and locations from The Force Awakens and promises to bring back the classic Lego humor and add newly enhanced features that have not been seen in previous Lego video games.
    Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be released on 28th June 2016 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, and Windows PC.
    Keen Lego gamers may recall that the original Lego Star Wars video game was the first of Lego's licensed video games back in 2005, and it's great to see Lego continue to be a part of the Star Wars family.
    Check out the fantastic teaser trailer below!
    May the Bricks be with you!
    Poe Dameron will be getting the Marvel Comics treatment this April in a new series written by Charles Soule and drawn by Phil Noto.
    Since his appearance in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, portrayed by Oscar Isaac, Poe Dameron has been a new fan favourite but not much information about the ace starfighter pilot has been released so far.
    Marvel's new comic will apparently focus on Dameron's exploits prior and leading up to his debut in The Force Awakens, where we first see him hunting for information on Luke Skywalker's whereabouts on Jakku.
    Soule and Noto have promised to provide new insight into Dameron's personality while fleshing out the Star Wars canon universe with new locations and enemies.
    Marvel's Star Wars: Poe Dameron will debut in April.

    Darth Vader 'Dream Team' created?

    By Andy, in The Movies,

    One big rumor (and potentially huge Rogue One spoiler) that has been floating around for a while is that Darth Vader may be making an appearance in the first of the spin-off movies.
    According to Making Star Wars, a 'Darth Vader Dream Team' has been assembled to ensure that the Dark Lord of the Sith's appearance in Rogue One is authentic. Observant fans will have noticed that Darth Vader's armour varies slightly between the Star Wars movies, and the time period of Rogue One means that the Darth Vader costume shown on screen will need to match the original suit seen in 1977, with one of the most noticeable differences being the reddish tint to the eyes of Vader's helmet.
    Brian Muir, The creator of the original Darth Vader helmet already announced on Twitter that he was involved in Rogue One in November 2015, and although he has made other creations for Star Wars, it's certainly not a stretch to imagine his involvement was necessary for a perfectly recreated Darth Vader. Additionally, rumor has it that James Earl Jones himself will be reprising his role as voice actor for the film. 
    Seeing Darth Vader in Rogue One would certainly make sense, as the film reportedly details the Rebel mission to steal the plans to the first Death Star, and we already know from A New Hope that Darth Vader was in pursuit of these stolen plans. 
    The release of Star Wars Episode VIII has been delayed, according to official sources. The film had previously been announced as being due in May, but new announcements peg the follow up to The Force Awakens as another winter release, now set for 15 December 2017.
    No reason or comment has been given for the shift of release date, although rumours blame script problems like those that have reportedly beset Rogue One and The Force Awakens before it.
    Incidentally Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy sequel is due for release in May 2017, so Disney executives may have been keen to avoid the two future blockbusters diluting each other's box office take. Meanwhile, the next Pirates of the Caribbean film has been shuffled into Episode VIII's original mid-May slot, and Marvel's Spider-Man reboot has taken PotC's old place in July. 
    Star Wars Episode VIII is currently still in the preproduction stage with filming due to commence next month, Rian Johnson is directing, with Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman producing.
    According to Birth. Movies. Death. a source has informed them that Christopher McQuarrie was called in to "save" Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. This corroborates a Latino Review story from last year which also made this claim.
    Rogue One was originally scripted by Gary Whitta, but when Whitta moved on to another project Chris Weitz joined the project, stating that "there’s a very strong structure from Gary’s work and that’s a huge advantage". It seems that not all went well, as sources claim that McQuarrie was brought in for at least two weeks to troubleshoot problems with the script and get the film back on track.
    McQuarrie was previously called in to fix zombie outbreak adaptation World War Z and was also involved in bringing Edge of Tomorrow to where it needed to be.
    Rogue One is said to be a military focused heist movie about a group of Rebels attempting to steal the plans for the Empire's ultimate weapon, the Death Star. The film is scheduled for release on 16th December 2016.

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