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WookieeLeaks: ‘Star Wars: Episode 7′ Delays, Steven Moffat and Darth Vader Rumors Invade the Internet

Star Wars Episode 7 rumors
Lucasfilm

ScreenCrush’s WookieLeaks is a weekly roundup of everything ‘Star Wars‘! From ‘Episode 7,’ to the upcoming spinoffs and the TV shows, if it pertains to that long ago, far away galaxy, we’re covering it here, bringing you our expert analysis. This week, ‘Star Wars: Episode 7‘ goes IMAX, ‘Star Wars Rebels‘ invades Comic-Con, and a life-size Darth Vader demands your $8,000.

‘Star Wars: Episode 7′ Takes a Quick Non-Break

Last week, we brought you the news that Crystal Clarke and Pip Andersen had joined the rapidly swelling cast of ‘Star Wars: Episode 7.’ Buried in that same press release is another tidbit: the production will take a two-week break in August to accommodate Harrison Ford and his broken leg. All rumors suggest that Ford’s injury is healing nicely and that will be the only foreseeable bump on the way to the film’s December 18, 2015 release date.

But, that two week break hasn’t slowed the production or the rumors coming out of it! First, the official Twitter account for J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot production company tweeted this picture, showcasing an IMAX camera filming the vast deserts of Tatooine … uh, Abu Dhabi. This is exciting news: it’s one thing for a major film to be screened in IMAX, but it’s another thing altogether for portions of a film to be shot with actual IMAX cameras. Anyone who saw ‘The Dark Knight’ or ‘Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol’ in an IMAX theater will understand.

Meanwhile, it looks like ‘Episode 7′ filming has moved to the UK’s Forest of Dean. Although there has been no official confirmation, Star Wars 7 News has done an excellent job of compiling news reports and paparazzi photos that all-but-confirm its happening. If the buzz is to be believed, Stormtroopers, speeder bikes and Jedi are all present.

Finally, Brian Muir, the man who sculpted Darth Vader’s original helmet, has joined the crew of ‘Episode 7.’ But you wouldn’t know it if you weren’t quick: he has deleted the Facebook post where he announced his involvement. Since this is the internet, you can see it here.

Although it’s likely that Muir is simply sculpting new helmets and costumes for the film, Star Wars 7 News has some uber-spoilerly details that suggest Darth Vader (or at least his costume) will be showing up at some point. Click that link at your own peril.

Is Steven Moffat Directing a ‘Star Wars’ Movie?

Disney and Lucasfilm have been on fire with their choices in future directors, selecting geek favorites like Rian Johnson, Gareth Edwards and Josh Trank to helm future entries and spin-offs in the saga. So that’s why we’re lending some weight to the Big Fat Rumor that ‘Doctor Who‘ and ‘Sherlock‘ maestro Steven Moffat has been offered a ‘Star Wars’ movie.

The rumor begins and ends there, but Jedi News claims that Moffat’s work on Steven Spielberg’s ‘The Adventures of Tin Tin: The Secret of the Unicorn’ is what got him the job. We don’t want to speculate too much until this gets confirmed, but Moffat seems like a great choice. People adore him and his work and he has plenty of experience working in science fiction and fantasy. Whether this is for ‘Star Wars: Episode 9‘ or another spin-off film, we approve whole-heartedly.

The Andy Serkis ‘Star Wars’ Circus

Yes, that headline is a thing of terrible, awful, eye-rolling beauty.

We know that Andy Serkis is a member of the ‘Star Wars: Episode 7′ cast, but beyond that, we know little. We do know that his studio The Imaginarium will be overseeing the film’s motion capture performances, but we do know that Serkis may have nabbed the job after J.J. Abrams saw an early cut of ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes‘  and was impressed with his work as Caesar. From an interview with Slashfilm:

I showed [Abrams] a bit of the movie. I wanted to get some feedback. And I know that he had known and really loved Andy Serkis. But it’s the same experience I had coming in and asking to see all the footage of Andy from Rise with him in his helmet cam, so that I could understand exactly what the process was. And the thing that struck me, and actually got me so excited, was the mystery behind how great he is, is that he’s great. That he’s an amazing actor. And  the scenes that I showed him were of Andy just in mo-cap. And he was like “oh my God, he’s an incredible actor.” He was so blown away.

And now he’s in Star Wars. I don’t know if that had a direct… I mean, it could, [and] I think he’d always loved Andy. And they had known each other a bit before, anyway. But I think when he saw it, it was like a real revelation. He said to me, “that looks — I’m not kidding when I tell you I think that’s one of the best performances I’ve ever seen.” I said “I know, isn’t he amazing?” He’s so good.

Across the internet, the Wall Street Journal spoke with Serkis about his work on ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,’ but they still managed to ask a few ‘Episode 7′ questions. Serkis did his duty and kept his mouth shut about any details, but he did reveal that he’s begun his work as a motion capture consultant but has yet to actually step in front of the camera:

But have you started working on “Star Wars” yet?

I’ve started working on it in the capacity of a consultant with The Imaginarium.

Imaginarium is consulting on the performance capture?

Yes, we’re the consultants. But I’ve yet to start shooting my role.

When do you expect to?

Soon.

In any case, if Serkis’ work in ‘Star Wars: Episode 7′ is half as good as his work as Caesar, we’re in for a treat.

‘Star Wars’ at Comic Con

Let’s start with the shocking news: ‘Star Wars: Episode 7′ will not be making an official appearance at Comic Con this year. Here’s the official statement from the official ‘Star Wars’ site:

With Star Wars: Episode VII creators deep in production in anticipation of the film’s December 18, 2015, release, Lucasfilm will not be featuring the movie at SDCC.

We get it. The film is still filming, virtually no CGI will be finished and nothing they bring will have the necessary “wow” factor required for a Comic Con panel. Still, we wouldn’t be surprised if someone made a surprise video appearance from the set, just to whet the fans’ appetites. A quick hello from Mark Hamill would go a long way.

Anyway, ‘Star Wars’ will still be at Comic Con in a big way this year. The ‘Star Wars Rebels’ panel is leading the pack, but there’s a lot going on, including panels on original trilogy concept art, new toys and collectibles, and, um, ‘Star Wars’ origami. Here’s the complete list of panels:

Thursday, July 24

The Heroes of Star Wars Rebels: 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., Room 6BCF
The Empire. The Rebellion. The Beginning. Star Wars Rebels, Lucasfilm’s highly anticipated animated series detailing the start of the fight against the evil Empire, is coming this fall — but fans can get a big sneak peek at San Diego Comic-Con.

Friday, July 25, Star Wars Day

Star Wars Origami: 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m., Room 7AB
Origami Master folder Chris Alexander (author of Star Wars Origami) demonstrates and teaches the master folding techniques to make Star Warsorigami figures. Attendees will fold an exclusive Comic-Con model along with other art from the Star Wars universe. Materials included!

Star Wars Storyboards: The Original Trilogy: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Room 7AB
For the first time, Lucasfilm has opened its Archives to present comprehensive storyboards for the original Star Wars trilogy — the world-changing A New Hope and its operatic sequels, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi— as well as never-before-published art from early conceptual and deleted scenes, in a new book from Abrams: Star Wars Storyboards: The Original Trilogy. Former ILM art director Joe Johnston will discuss the newest addition to the Abrams Star Wars library, and the singular experience of creating the iconic trilogy’s storyboards with his stellar art dept team. Johnston won an Academy Award for Best Visual effects for his work on Raiders of the Lost Ark, and has directed Honey, I Shrunk the KidsThe RocketeerJumanjiJurassic Park IIIHidalgo, and Captain America: The First Avenger. Moderated by Lucasfilm editor J.W. Rinzler.

Hasbro: Star Wars: 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m., Room 7AB
Join members of the Hasbro brand and design team including Jeff Labovitz (director, Global Brand Marketing, Hasbro), Bill Rawley (design manager, Hasbro), and more as they discuss the popular Hasbro Star Wars line. Attendees will also get a sneak peek of upcoming, never-before-seen action figures from the highly anticipated Star Wars Rebels animated series.

Star Wars: Collectibles Update: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00pm, Room 7AB
Join eFX, Gentle Giant Studios, Kotobukiya, and Sideshow Collectibles for product development insights and exclusive previews of the latest in Star Warscollectibles. Moderated by Anita Castellar of Lucas Licensing.

Star Wars: A New Dawn: 2:00 p.m. – 3:00p.m., Room 7AB
The new era of Star Wars storytelling begins in September with Star Wars: A New Dawn. Join New York Times bestselling author John Jackson Miller, Shelly Shapiro (editor, Del Rey), Frank Parisi (editor, Del Rey), Jennifer Heddle (senior editor, Lucasfilm), Pablo Hidalgo (Lucasfilm Story Group), Vanessa Marshall (Hera in Star Wars Rebels), along with Dave Filoni (executive producer, Star Wars Rebels), as they discuss the planning and process of Star Wars: A New Dawn, and present the list of upcoming Star Wars novels from Del Rey.

Star Wars: The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight: 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., Room 7AB
Ralph McQuarrie’s art for the original Star Wars trilogy is introduced to a new generation of young readers in Star Wars: The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight. Join New York Times bestselling author Tony DiTerlizzi as he talks about the conceptualization of this project and the process, challenges, and privileges of writing to the works of a legend. Moderated by J.W. Rinzler (executive editor, Lucasfilm).

Jeffrey Brown – Star Wars Insider: Booth #5537
The writer/artist of Vader’s Little Princess and other classic all-ages Star Warsbooks, Jeffrey Brown, will be signing copies of Star Wars Insider #151 for fans at the Titan Publishing booth. Brown created an original cover just for this issue!

Saturday, July 26:

Lucasfilm Portfolio Review: 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Room PR F
Troy Alders, now art director at Disney Consumer Products, is conducting portfolio reviews, providing critiques, and offering tips to graphic designers. Bring a portfolio selection of your best design work in and see if you have what it takes to create art for the ever-expanding Star Wars galaxy. Graphic Design degrees a plus.

‘Star Wars Rebels’ Updates

With ‘Star Wars Rebels’ poised to make a splash at this year’s Comic-Con, the upcoming animated series has been steadily releasing new details. First up, here’s a look at the personal vehicle of the series’ Big Bad, The Inquisitor. Personally, we like the tradition of putting higher ranked villains behind the controls of TIE Advanced Fighters. They really do look so much cooler.

 

There is no shortage of memorable droids in the ‘Star Wars’ universe, so how exactly do you create a new character who stands toe-to-toe with the likes of R2-D2 and C3-PO? That was the challenge the creators of ‘Star Wars Rebels’ faced with Chopper and their quest to create him is chronicled in a new featurette.

A second featurette actually confirms a long-gestating casting rumor: David Oyelowo, one of Hollywood’s most unsung and underutilized actors, will be providing the voice of the villainous Agent Kallus on the series. He may not be a household name, but he’s a huge get for a series like this.

Amazing, Fun and Stupid Stuff

This life-size Darth Vader statue will only cost you a measly $7,999. That’s not too bad, right? You don’t have to eat or pay rent or anything like that for a few months, right?

Sideshow Collectibles

If you’re wondering what kind of people would want to own a life-size Darth Vader, they’re probably the same people who create badass Stormtrooper cosplay based on Ralph McQuarrie’s original concept art of the first film.

But if you can’t afford a massive Darth Vader or don’t have the time to assemble cool cosplay, you can always showcase your fandom with these cool new Clone Trooper figures. Sure, they’re from the prequel trilogy, but we’ll forgive you for owning ‘em.

Sideshow

If you want some toys that probably won’t cost you an arm and leg, look no further than these new ‘Star Wars’ Hot Wheels vehicles, which re-imagine Darth Vader and R2-D2 as cars.

Moving away from toys and statues, it looks like members of the ‘Episode 7′ cast have ben given framed versions of that famous table read photo. Newcomer John Boyega seems particularly taken with all of this.

‘Episode 7′ may be taking a quick break from filming, but that hasn’t slowed down the fans! This video showcasing a German airport overrun with Imperial troops is particularly impressive.

And let’s close things out with the video tour of what may very well be the worst ‘Star Wars’ exhibit ever created. Yikes.

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