Lawrence Kasdan Says Star Wars Episode 8 Will Be A Weird Thing

According to Star Wars screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, Episode VIII will be like no other Star Wars film.

Although most people will agree The Force Awakens was a lot of fun, Episode 7 actually had one main purpose.

Disney wanted to show the fans that they had heard their cries about the tone and realism shown in the original trilogy but somewhat lacking in the prequels.

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” director J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan on set. (David James / Lucasfilm)

But now with a vague structure of a story in place, the stage is set for Rian Johnson to do whatever the hell he wants when he directs and writes Episode 8 and continues to write for Episode 9.

Disney must have a lot of confidence in Rian to sign him up to write the screenplay for Episodes 8 and 9.

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Speaking to the LA Times, long-serving Star Wars screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, who returned for The Force Awakens, is excited at the prospect of Johnson being at the helm.

“These movies will all be so different, Rian Johnson is a friend of mine — he’s going to make some weird thing.”

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Episode VIII writer/director and Episode IX writer Rian Johnson (Picture: Getty)

“If you’ve seen Rian’s work, you know it’s not going be like anything that’s ever been in Star Wars. “You couldn’t have three more different people than J.J., Rian and Colin [Trevorrow, Episode IX director].”

 Johnson directed Looper and also made the cult hit movie Brick.

 Kasdan also spoke about the Star Wars Anthology movies the first of which Rogue One is released December 2016.

“Those movies will have the Star Wars saga as their basis, but everything else will be different. Then Phil Lord and Chris Miller are going to make the Han Solo film and I can’t guess what that will be like — and I’m writing it!”

The Force Awakens Breaks Domestic and Global Records For Debut Weekend

When Star Wars The Force Awakens hit $100 Million it was still jumping to Hyperspace!

JJ Abrams Episode VII blockbuster only took 19 hours to reach domestic box office takings of $100m, finally reaching $247m by the end of the weekend breaking the domestic record previously held by Jurassic World.

The movie was shown in 4,134 cinemas giving it a crazy $59,748 per-screen-average.

Star Wars The Force Awakens TV spot 4
Star Wars The Force Awakens TV spot 4

For December these figures are even more crazy, the prior biggest debut for this month of the year was The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey with $84m

But wait, the force is even stronger with this one…

Due to these domestic numbers being higher than anticipated, Disney have suggested to Bloomberg that Global weekend takings will likely be $528m breaking Jurassic World’s global record of $524.9m.

What makes this global announcement even more impressive, is that The Force Awakens is not released in China until January 9th, the second biggest movie country!

Poe Dameron Flying An Xwing
Poe Dameron Flying An Xwing

But the new sequel Star Wars movie is not quite done yet.

It’s going to be close, but The Force Awakens now has Avatar in it’s sights as it attempts to break the $760.5m domestic total.

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Disney must be extremely pleased.  Disney chief Bob Iger said :

“ ‘Star Wars,’ I’ve said a number of times, I think is probably the most valuable, maybe even the most important mythology created in our time,”

Both Alec Guiness and Ewan McGregor are heard in The Force Awakens

By a stroke of luck both Star Wars Obi Wan Kenobi actors are heard in Episode VII The Force Awakens.

If you haven’t seen the movie yet, you might want to stop reading now.

When Rey finds Luke Skywalker’s lost lightsaber a brief dream sequence occurs revealing several images and voices.

One such voice at the the end of the sequence says “Rey… these are your first steps.”.

The Star Wars Obi Wan Kenobi actor Ewan McGregor was asked to come in to the studio and record the line, explained JJ Abrams to Entertainment Weekly.

“Here’s the cool part. We asked Ewan McGregor to come in and do the line. And he was awesome and we were very grateful. He was incredibly sweet and handsome, and all that stuff. Then he rode off on his motorcycle. Literally the coolest voice over actor ever.”

Ewan McGregor as Obi Wan Kenobi
Ewan McGregor as Obi Wan Kenobi

But the first word ‘Rey’ was actually voiced by Alec Guiness, which surprised JJ Abrams.

“I said, ‘That’s cool, is that the thing from Ewan McGregor?’ He said ‘No, we took a line from Alec Guinness saying ‘Afraid.’ They cut it, and you hear the performance – he’s saying it the way I would have begged Alec Guinness to have said it. It is so crazy perfect. So when you hear Obi-Wan talk to Rey it is both Alec Guinness and Ewan McGregor doing the voice.”

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Even Frank Oz was called in to record a line for Yoda, but in the end they chose a recording they already had.

“He was incredibly generous and came in to Bad Robot, where we had a recording area, and he was doing Yoda, saying a number of lines we gave to him. This whole experience has been one outrageous moment after another. Just watching Frank Oz, you look at him and talk to him and his voice is very deep. I don’t know why I would have thought he sounded like Miss Piggy!”

Rey saves BB-8 from being scavenged
Rey saves BB-8 from being scavenged

Talking of Rey’s dream scene, it was also felt that Rey’s past should not be uncovered in The Force Awakens and is perhaps a job for Episode VIII joked Lawrence Kasdan:

“We’re hoping Rian Johnson can figure that out,” Kasdan joked. “We were really stymied!”

 

Celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver Dresses As A Stormtrooper For School Run

Embarrassing Dad Jamie Oliver dressed up in full Stormtrooper gear as he walked his two daughters to school yesterday.

The cheeky chef surprised his two daughters Poppy and Daisy as they walked down the street to school in London.

The father of four exchanged his chefs whites, for full Stromtrooper battle-armour from the Galactic Empire era though, not the new First Order as seen in Star Wars The Force Awakens.

Jamie posted a picture on Instagram saying “Embarrassing Dad !!! Haha.”

Embarrassing Dad, Jamie Oliver as a Stormtrooper
Embarrassing Dad, Jamie Oliver as a Stormtrooper

It’s not the first time the chef has proved he’s a massive Star Wars fan.

Back in September he threw his son Buddy a brilliant Star Wars-themed 5th birthday party, digging out his Stormtrooper outfit once again.

Jamie, married to wife Jools, recently admitted he was “in denial” about turning the big 4-0 in May. So much so, he delayed his birthday party for six months.

“Now I’m just an embarrassing dad. I don’t think that I went into my 40s in a great way. I was in a little bit of denial, I didn’t like it too much. I struggled with the party, I did it six months later.”

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Jamie also said he is looking forward to spending Christmas with his family and despite currently lobbying for a ‘sugar tax’ in the UK, insisted he is letting his children have a few sweets over the festive season.

“Food is obviously a big deal at home, we’ve always been around it, we get amongst it, I cook everything at home so it’s the time of year when you’ve got friends and family and kids. It’s one big dinner party.”

First Reviews Of The Force Awakens Are Glowing! (No Spoilers)

The embargo for reviews was lifted today on Star Wars The Force Awakens, and they are almost all VERY POSITIVE!

Thank goodness for that, we can breathe a sigh of relief, phew!

Some have called the new Star Wars movie “a triumph” and “a classic”.

UK newspapers seemed very happy with the movie:

The Daily Mail’s Brian Viner described The Force Awakens as “a triumph of escapism and the most exhilarating film yet in this mighty franchise”.

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The Times critic Kate Muir wrote: “Adults will be floored by tearful nostalgia because this is a classic. “The sequel – the seventh movie in the Star Wars franchise – is “a humongous piece of cinema”, said Kate. She went on to describe Abrams as “a better action director” than Star Wars creator George Lucas, concluding that the film was “exactly what we were hoping for”.

Finn and Solo on a mission
Finn and Solo on a mission

The “real star of the show”, declared Brian Viner from The Daily Mail, was British actress Daisy Ridley, whose performance as scavenger Rey should “send her career into orbit”.

Christopher Hooton in the Independent gave the film four stars and said: “Star Wars: The Force Awakens is actually probably objectively the best Star Wars yet, and would be held up as untouchable had it come first.”

Poe Dameron in flight
Poe Dameron in flight

The New York Times said the “big news about Star Wars: The Force Awakens is – spoiler alert – that it’s good!”.

“Despite the pre-release hype, it won’t save the world, not even Hollywood, but it seamlessly balances cosy favourites – Harrison Ford, ladies and gentlemen – and new kinetic wows along with some of the niceties that went missing as the series grew into a phenomenon, most crucially a scale and a sensibility that is rooted in the human,” Manohla Dargis said.

 

Final Full Length Trailer Reveals More Dialogue And Settings

The second international trailer for Star Wars The Force Awakens, otherwise known as the Chinese Trailer will likely be the last full length trailer you will see before release.

With just a few days before the movie is finally released, all that remains are a few 30 second TV Spots to maintain the all-encompassing hype machine.


So let’s sit back and enjoy this final full-length trailer which reveals…

Solo talking lovingly to his ship the Falcon, I won’t spoil the dialogue here, watch the trailer to hear it!

Rey and BB-8 in Forest
Rey and BB-8 in Forest

More conversation between Rey and BB-8, apparently they are both classified, whatever that means but no doubt critical to the plot. The image above is not from the trailer but one of a group of recently released stills.

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Falcon and Xwings in The Force Awakens
Falcon and Xwings in The Force Awakens

And, what seems to be a new space scene featuring asteroids, or planetary rings the Falcon and the X-wings!

For me personally, it’s just 4 more sleeps, woot!

 

Wedge Antilles Actor Turned Down The Force Awakens Because It Would Have Bored Him

Scottish actor Denis Lawson was offered a role for Episode VII but declined it because the concept bored him.

Many of the familiar characters from the original Star Wars Trilogy are set to return in Episode VII released next week, but one of the fan-favorite supporting characters Wedge Antilles who appeared in all three of the original movies will not be returning:

“I’m not going to do that … They asked me but it just would have bored me.”

The Wedge Antilles actor told the UK’s The Courier when asked about Wedge Star Wars.

Denis Lawson rejects Star Wars role
Denis Lawson rejects Star Wars role

Denis Lawson, real-life uncle of actor Ewan McGregor, played X-wing pilot and Rebel officer Wedge Antilles in the original trilogy and is the only known character to have survived both Death Star Battles.

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So it seems that the Wedge Antillies actor doesn’t want to allow his Star Wars work to forever dominate his destiny.

Wedge Antilles in Return Of The Jedi
Wedge Antilles in Return Of The Jedi

Wedge Star Wars Factfile

The character Wedge Antilles was a fighter pilot for the Rebel Alliance, and founded Rogue Squadron with Luke Skywalker. Wedge is noted for being the only Rebel pilot to have survived both attacks on the Death Stars at the Yavin and Endor. He also appears in the Star Wars expanded universe, most notably as the lead character in most of the X-Wing novels.

Wedge Antilles first appears in Star Wars: A New Hope during the Rebels’ Death Star attack briefing. In this scene Wedge is portrayed by Colin Higgins and voiced by David Ankrum, who dubs the character throughout the film. Denis Lawson plays the character for the remaining scenes filmed in the X-wing cockpit. Lawson also plays Antilles in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. In the former, Lawson’s voice was dubbed over by an unidentified actor, while Lawson used his own voice in the latter, hiding his natural Scottish accent with an imitation of an American accent.

Star Wars Legends books explains that Wedge’s parents were killed when his parents’ starship-refueling depot exploded. He piloted a freighter before joining the Rebel Alliance as a fighter pilot.

Did you know the Millennium Falcon would cost $3million a year to run?

It would cost over $3million per year in repairs alone just to keep the Millennium Falcon in service, British engineering firm SGS has calculated.

• The infamous Star Wars spaceship would cost $3,079,388 per year in repairs and maintenance 

• Engineering firm’s calculations show that Captain Han Solo would need to be a multi-millionaire just to run the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy

Ahead of the launch of the seventh instalment of the Star Wars franchise, ‘The Force Awakens’, later this month, SGS estimates that annual maintenance bills alone would top seven figures.

With a reputation for being unreliable, the ship – known as the fastest hunk of junk in the Galaxy –  would require more than $500,000 in mechanical man hours alone, while replacements parts would see captain Solo, played by Harrison Ford, hit for a further three quarters of a million.

 

SGS used official data of annual maintenance costs of commercial jets, fighter jets and standard mechanical labour rates as the basis for its calculations. For full details and images please see here.

SGS Millennium Falcon Running Costs

SGS Millennium Falcon Running Costs

Originally built as a freighter, the Falcon measures 111ft from nose to tail is 82ft wide, and has a maximum cargo hold of 100 metric tonnes. Its defining feature, however, is its 0.5 light speed which means it can famously outrun any ship in the galaxy.

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At over 50 years old the Millennium Falcon has had a hard life that’s included navigating asteroid fields, countless crashes and taking on fully-operational Death Stars. This makes for an extensive repair list: faulty hyperdrives, smashed-off sensor dishes, malfunctioning internal systems to name but a few.

SGS’ estimates are based on an ‘average’ year, the already considerable maintenance costs would be expected to rise even more in times of battling the Empire.

  

Andy Wyatt, founder and owner of SGS Engineering, said:

“There have been several estimates about how much it would cost to build the Millennium Falcon from scratch – but as Han Solo wins the ship, so didn’t have to fork out for its construction, we wanted to find out how much the Falcon would dent his wallet just to keep it running.

Anything mechanical that is known as a hunk of junk is going to be expensive to upkeep.

The Falcon’s age and numerous modifications over its lifetime play a big part in ramping up the maintenance costs, not to mention the odd run in with the dark side.

We’re not professing that these are definitive calculations, there is a certain amount of conjecture in there – after all there’s not much to base a replacement hyperdrive on – but they do give a good idea of just how much of a financial burden the Millennium Falcon would have been on Solo.

Although we can see why George Lucas would choose not to make these financial worries a central plot in the storyline. Lightsabres are far more interesting than Solo’s budgets.”

New BattleFront Data Reveals Most Popular Star Wars Character

EA have just released a cool new infographic which reveals some interesting play stats for Star Wars Battlefront since launch.

According to the infographic, the most deadly vehicle in the game is the AT-ST making over 61 Million kills, compared to the Millenium Falcon’s 9 Million kills and Slave 1’s 8.5 Million.

More than 36.3 Million AT-ATs have been destroyed, but less than 1% with a Snow-Speeder and tow cable.

Star Wars Battlefront infographic
Star Wars Battlefront infographic

But which was more popular from the classic rivals the X-wing and Tie-Fighter?  The X-wing has made 43.6 million kills compared to the Tie’s 26.1 million.

When it comes to the Force, the Dark Side is winning!  The Emperor’s Force Lightning has killed more that Luke Skywalker’s Force Push.

 

But which was the most popular character?  Boba Fett with over 29.8 million minutes played.

 

Star Wars Battlefront was released last month for PS4, PC and Xbox One.

Buy it today and get $20 discount!

 

Gary The Dog Has Seen The Force Awakens And Loves it!

Carrie Fisher appeared on Good Morning America and told viewers that her dog Gary has seen The Force Awakens and loves it!

Fisher who plays General Leia in the new Star Wars movie threw convention out of the window and had a hoot delivering a hilarious interview on live TV.

 

 

Fisher explained that both her and her dog Gary had seen The Force Awakens and the both loved it!

Fisher encouraged viewers to go and see the movie saying that their tongues will loll out of their mouths like Gary when they see it.

When asked how easy it was to agree on doing the movie, Fisher replied:

“No, I’m a female in Hollywood, over the age of let’s say 40 and then we could also say 50…They don’t have to ask you if you want to work at that age, you’ll see someday.”

 

Leia and Han in Star Wars The Force Awakens
Leia and Han in Star Wars The Force Awakens

 

She was then asked about losing weight for the film, for which Fisher answered that it was a stupid question but then followed on with:

“But you’re so thin, let’s talk about it. How do you keep that going on?”

Last week, Carrie responded to the controversy surrounding a Christianity advert banned from being shown before Star Wars in the UK.  She said that ‘People should get a life!’.

Enjoy this wacky and funny interview!