Being a UK based site, you could excuse us for neglecting to celebrate the Thanksgiving Holiday our American friends celebrate on the 28th. That being said, any excuse for a party and some high calorie, fatty goodness foods gets the Jedi News crew round the table; and this year Jedi Master SQL joined the fun by partaking in a no-holds barred Q & A on all things Star Wars. Well, when we say no-holds barred, we ask any question we want but SQL still only answers what he wants...or he breaks out the Jedi Mind Tricks...
Read more after the break.
JN: Can we expect any official Episode VII casting announcements before the holidays?
SQL: What many people don’t realize or rather become so wrapped up in the news that they forget that when a Press Release drops, that does not mean the ‘news’ happened that day. In the majority of situations the news will have taken place weeks if not months prior to the Press Release. We are talking the movie business, a PR controlled, and secretive industry – it is nigh impossible to predict when they will announce news.
I can tell you that there is a stack of news that could be released at any moment that they please, but it will be released at a time that suits them. It is also important to note that some news, that I consider to be major news stories have been effectively buried amongst other releases (I think immediately of Pinewood, and some of the critical crew positions.) There is a major task for Lucasfilm and Disney to manage expectations and the media. Perhaps the clearest indication for that was the intense pressure put on Lucasfilm about when the movie would be released during October, only for the date to be announced 15 minutes before the dropping of Disney’s earnings call. The cynical amongst you may consider that this news was dropped to take a massive pressure off the earnings call, and allow Disney execs to avoid any serious Star Wars related questions.
JN: Do you think the Big 3 will be announced as a group or individually?
SQL: I assume by the ‘Big 3’ you mean Han, Luke, and Leia? I take exception to your exclusion of my hero Lando. Technically he saved the lives of everyone on Bespin, and Solo – it’s not easy standing up to Vader and Fett! Why does no one refer to the Big 4?
Talking of Billy Dee, I’m not the only one to adore him, and expect big things from him on multiple platforms in the future. Everyone loves working with him, and thus everyone wants to create work for him…
Back to the ‘Big 3’ – I have only seen evidence for one of them having signed. I am not joining the sceptics suggesting they are not all back, but I can only tell you what I know.
All things said, all of them have worked with Lucasfilm in the last few years in one avenue or another – and all bring something interesting to the mix. But you need something of substance to carry off having them back; otherwise it becomes an awkward task of making a meaningful cameo for them.
It would not surprise me if they did not all come back for Episode VII but maybe came back at varying points in the new trilogy. The script will determine their status, but the script must be story driven, and if the natural story includes them all I will be ecstatic – but I don’t want a script to be written to ACCOMMODATE them all. If they are back, it must be of substance.
I would suggest that the whole principal cast would be announced in a group. It creates a natural shield of scrutiny for any young or new talent (or at least delays or spreads it out) as everyone has a mass of stories to write at once. Judging by the history of PR releases to date, this may be a simple black and white press release on The Official Star Wars Site with a photo of the group.
JN: Does Episode Seven mean the end of the Star Wars Expanded Universe?
SQL: I will avoid this, as I don’t want to deliver any spoilers with regards the plot line or potential plot line. I just don’t want to go there.
What I will say is that the people that deliver you the Expanded Universe won’t be disappearing anytime soon. For example when the news of the Disney purchase dropped everyone spoke of the one licensee that was ‘doomed’ and that company was Dark Horse Comics. People should really define that name, the little known person (in comparison to Marvel) that seems unlikely to succeed – a dark horse by name and nature. My understanding is not only will Dark Horse keep their comic publishing license, but also you can expect to see their logo on a lot of very different Star Wars products than just comics…
JN: What can you tell us about the outline for Episode Seven?
SQL: Very little, but one small hint. Star Wars The Old Republic has added a planet that has long been mentioned but never seen on film…
JN: It’s Thanksgiving, What Should Star Wars fans be most thankful for?
SQL: The exceptional level of work going into finding the right cast for the new films. Not only is the effort going further than any film in the history of the industry, but the real thought is going into the mix of the group and how they will look, interact and fit together.
Every week I hear more amazing actors linked with the roles, and I feel that we will have an incredible cast when all is said and done. Just this past two weeks I have heard the names of Emmanuelle Chriqui, Alexis Dziena, and Taissa Farmiga all linked with roles – all exceptionally talented actresses. Whether any of them are cast is still unknown, but if you consider the quality of the people they are looking at – you can see the quality of the effort.