Rian Johnson To Create All-New Star Wars Trilogy!

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In news sure to blow the heads off Star Wars geeks everywhere (excuse me while I collect the pieces of my head off the floor), Lucasfilm has just announced that Rian Johnson, writer and director of the forthcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi will create an all-new trilogy of adventures.

Details are scarce of course, but Lucasfilm say Johnson will write and direct the first new film with longtime collaborator Ram Bergman onboard to produce.

“We had the time of our lives collaborating with Lucasfilm and Disney on The Last Jedi,” Johnson and Bergman said in a joint statement. “Star Wars is the greatest modern mythology and we feel very lucky to have contributed to it. We can’t wait to continue with this new series of films.”

Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm, said “We all loved working with Rian, he’s a creative force, and watching him craft The Last Jedi from start to finish was one of the great joys of my career. Rian will do amazing things with the blank canvas of this new trilogy.”

No release dates have been set for the new films, but you can start speculating wildly about which characters the trilogy will feature right about…

…now!

Johnson’s upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi arrives in cinemas (here in Norway, at least) on Dec. 13, 2017.

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Star Wars – The Last Jedi Trailer

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Let’s face it, I could pretty much be writing my shopping list here but you’ll be skipping past my no-doubt exciting consumer needs to take a look at the final trailer for Star Wars – The Last Jedi. Okay, off you go…

Well, there’s certainly a lot to unpack, with a great deal more of the story hinted at than in previous trailers. Personally, I’m rather excited to see what Rian Johnson has in store for us at Christmas, to the point where I’m actually rather disappointed that Disney/Lucasfilm decided to go with J J Abrams again for the final episode of this trilogy in the latest round of Hire-And-Fire-The-Director.

Will this be a simple nostalgia retread, like The Force Awakens, or will we get some real development in the saga this time? I guess we’ll see soon enough…

Star Wars – The Last Jedi opens on December 13th (at least, here in Norway, your country’s mileage may vary). Book your tickets now.

Okay, so… cereal, two pints of milk, brunost…

Disney Release New Look At Star Wars: The Last Jedi

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Disney’s huge D23 convention has just fired one of its big guns, as they revealed a new behind-the-scenes video for writer/director Rian Johnson‘s Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

There’s a lot of interesting material here, including the first footage of new characters played by by Laura Dern and Benicio Del Toro, as well as a glimpse of Carrie Fisher in her final role as Princess Leia.

This episode of the long-running franchise will obviously be an emotional journey. Star Wars: The Last Jedi is released on December 15, 2017.

New Star Wars Characters Revealed by Vanity Fair!

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It’s always an exciting time in the run up to a new episode in the Star Wars saga and that excitement was dialled up today with the reveal of a fantastic and exclusive gallery of photos by Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair.

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As well as action shots of familiar characters, staged portraits and behind the scenes glimpses, the photos reveal characters new to the saga, including those played by Laura Dern and Benicio Del Toro, who portray Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo and “the shifty ‘DJ'” respectively.

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Head over here to Vanity Fair to see the full stunning gallery, and get ready for December 13th when Star Wars: The Last Jedi explodes into cinemas worldwide.

BREATHE! Star Wars – The Last Jedi Trailer Is Here!

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As expected, the teaser trailer for Episode 8 – The Last Jedi dropped just now at the Star Wars Celebration and, well, here it is…

It’s very Luke and Rey-centric, and it’s more of an atmosphere piece than anything. But there’s some cool looking stuff in there – possibly nothing that will convert a non-fan to Jedi-ism but, hey, you know Disney’s money is already in the bank, right!?

Star Wars Episode VIII The Last Jedi opens on December 15th, 2017 and very possibly three quarters of the world will go to see it.

Han’s first shot…

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Lucasfilm have just released the photo above, marking the event of the Han Solo Star Wars Story officially beginning shooting yesterday, at Pinewood Studios, London.

Co-directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are seen here in the iconic cockpit of the Millennium Falcon, along with Alden Ehrenreich as brand new, young Han Solo, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, with Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca. The intriguing cast also includes Thandie Newton, who must have been off wrestling a gundark when this photo was shot.

The untitled Han Solo Star Wars Story is slated for release on May 25, 2018. Let’s hope they’ve come up with a title by then.

Source: StarWars.com

Crawling towards The Last Jedi…

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In the absence of any hard news about where Rian Johnson is going with Star Wars Episode VIII, this photograph from the director’s Instagram feed is sure to get pulses racing.

The photo shows the title, The Last Jedi, being dropped into the film’s now iconic title crawl.

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With a considerable wait still in front of us until the film’s December 15th release, it’s heartening to know they’ll be sticking with tradition for this and not suddenly introducing a flashy Suicide Squad style opening with garish neon colours and helpful info-dump graphics. Although, after seven previous movies in the saga, maybe that would be useful for latecomers…

And the title for Star Wars Episode VII is…

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…yes, as you can tell from the header image, it’s The Last Jedi.

Your illustrious writer has meticulously pieced together all currently verified information, taken his life into his hands by scouring the perilous and murky backwaters of internet rumours and can confidently conclude this title will refer to Luke Skywalker. Unless it refers to Rey. Or maybe Kylo Ren, if he does a last minute turnabout over to the side of the Force that isn’t the Dark Side.

Meanwhile, Lucasfilm released the following statement alongside the title and teaser poster:

We have the greatest fans in this or any other galaxy. In appreciation of the fans, we wanted them to be the first to know the title of the next chapter in the Skywalker saga: STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI. THE LAST JEDI is written and directed by Rian Johnson and produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman and executive produced by J.J. Abrams, Jason McGatlin, and Tom Karnowski. STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI is scheduled for release December 15, 2017.

If we’re really lucky, the last Jedi will turn out to actually be the Force ghost of Jake Lloyd, the young actor who portrayed Anakin Skywalker in… brrrr… The Phantom Menace, still jumping around sporting that pudding basin haircut and yelling “Yippeee!” everywhere.

Rogue One – The Prequel You Always Wanted

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When Disney/Lucasfilm announced a series of stand-alone films – away from the main trilogy – there was some speculation that this was not perhaps such a great idea, and when the first film announced was the story of the stolen Death Star plans which would lead straight into the beginning of Episode IV (or just plain, old Star Wars to those of us at the front of the queue back in 1977) that speculation turned to dismay in some quarters.

How could you make a successful and exciting film when everyone knows the ending? I suppose we could let James Cameron answer that one but in his absence, I’m here to tell you that those fears were completely unfounded.

British director, Gareth Edwards (he of the 2014 Godzilla reboot) has fashioned a thoroughly exciting and remarkably fresh feeling yarn in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, one that will excite and astound in equal measure. Double that up if you’re a confirmed Star Wars fan.

Featuring a fabulous (and fabulously diverse) cast, including Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, Jiang Wen and Forest Whitaker, beautifully shot by Grig Fraser and marvellously scored by Michael Giacchino (utilising some of John Williams’ iconic themes, of course), Edwards gives us a good old, rip-roaring night out at the cinema that’s part war movie, part heist movie and 150% Star Wars movie.

The plot really is straightforward: Jones plays the daughter of Mikkelsen’s Death Star engineer, and the Rebel Alliance use her to try to steal the plans for the battle station before it can become fully operational.

That’s pretty much it, but that’s pretty much all we need. Everything else is a case of wind it up and let it go.

There aren’t vast swathes of depth to most of the characters, one or two performances don’t really work (hello, Forest Whitaker, I’m looking at you… just what the hell was that voice!?), and some of the dialogue is clunky (it’s a Star Wars film, of course there’s clunky dialogue), but there are so many more treasures here it’s hard, if not impossible to let these slides stand in the way of your enjoyment.

As always, Edwards’ sense of scale and scope is magnificent, he really knows how to frame a scene and open up the world with depth and focus. And boy does he know how to throw us into the trenches of war, we’re really allowed to feel the thrum of battle around us – both on the ground and in some of the most thrilling space battles ever put on screen (this is where a 3D screening really pays off, by the way).

The characters are introduced deftly and without fuss, meaning we hit the ground running and rarely pause for breath. Of these new characters, the two standouts are definitely Alan Tudyk (voicing K-2SO, a Rebel-owned Imperial enforcer droid) and the mighty Donnie Yen (who kicks major ass as an almost-Jedi).

There are some neat and very timely shades painted into the dialogue which could be seen as a reflection of political attitudes surrounding us now (that’s definitely how I read them). When asked if she’d be happy seeing Imperial flags planted across the galaxy, Jones’ Jyn Erso replies: “It’s not a problem if you don’t look up.” It’s a small, simple moment, but it resonates, with so many people in our own world who don’t seem to want to look up.

And, best of all, Rogue One is fully immersed in the Star Wars universe – from blue milk (you either get it or you don’t) to the surprise appearances by… well, let’s leave that open until you’ve seen the film. When you have meet me back here and we can discuss the various merits and demerits of these added touches. Some work better than others (you’ll understand what I mean) but all are introduced for the right reasons and add a certain sense of playfulness to the film. One in particular (if you’ve seen the trailers you’ll know who I mean) gets a moment so magnificently brutal and wonderful that you can’t help but hope this won’t be our last return visit with him (…oh yes, it’s a him).

What I can tell you without fear of spoilers is that for the final forty-five minutes of Rogue One I genuinely sat with a huge grin spread across my face, caught up in the machinery of the plot and basking in the warm glow of a very familiar and a very welcome return to a galaxy far, far away.

And really, after Rogue One you’ll never need to watch those other bloody prequels again.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story trailer adds Darth Vader!

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There’s plenty to get excited about at the thought of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story landing in December.

There’s the Dirty Dozen in Space concept everything we know about the film seems to be pointing towards, a desperate group of Rebels heading off to steal the plans for the original Death Star. You might be vibed by the incredible, diverse ensemble cast, headed up by Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed, Ben Mendelsohn, Jiang Wen, Donnie Yen, Forest Whitaker, Mads Mikkelsen, and Alan Tudyk. Or perhaps you’re a fan of Gareth Edwards, the director who gave us both the excellent, low budget Monsters and the fair stab at Japan’s greatest export that was 2014’s Godzilla?

And if none of that grabs you, surely the final shot of this most recent trailer will raise your pulse rate, as we are given our first glimpse of the Dark Lord of the Sith himself, Darth Vader.

The first ‘sideways look’ into the Star Wars universe, a direct prequel leading into the opening moments of the original film (or Episode IV, if you must), arrives December 16, 2016 and I’m already camped outside my local cinema in readiness for it. Actually I’m not, but if anything was going to make me do that it would be this latest trailer!