Rebels EP Dave Filoni likes ‘anything that brings the prequel and the original trilogy periods together’

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From StarWars.com:

“StarWars.com: This season also offered you a chance to tie up some loose ends from The Clone Wars, and one was “The Last Battle.” Where did the idea come from that you were going to take an opportunity to give some closure to characters who went through the Clone Wars?

[Rebels executive producer] Dave Filoni: We had toyed with this old battle droid story many times and we never found a good place for it. With Rex back, it seemed like there was an opportunity. Plus, Ezra didn’t have any perspective on the Clone War. He didn’t grow up in it, so there was the opportunity to have him ask, like he did when he first met Rex, “What is this all about?” Ezra sees it from a point of view that helps both Kanan and Rex understand what they went through. Even they didn’t fully understand it.

It’s a great thing to produce because you make battle droids, and when you make one, you get a whole bunch of them, so it works from a production level. The thought of battle droids confronting stormtroopers was really appealing. I like anything that really brings the prequel and the original trilogy periods together. I think it’s important to do so people understand these stories all work together as one piece. It’s not like the prequels end and everything in them just disappears.

Having worked in the prequel era for a long time, I know it really well. It was really interesting to see Kanan, Ezra, and Zeb dealing with it and, frankly, how dangerous some of it was. While the droids weren’t much of a match for Anakin Skywalker, they’re more than a match for someone like Ezra who’s not as well-trained. So, it gave a great perspective into what they’re capable of, too. […]

StarWars.com: There’s something about seeing original and prequel trilogy elements come together that’s so surprising.

Dave Filoni: Right? It shouldn’t be, but it is.

We do have this strange thing where I was able to finish a lot of storylines from Clone Wars, things that never really got dealt with in the past. That felt good, and I felt like that followed through for a lot of people who wanted to know more about Ahsoka and wanted to know more about Rex, and so here’s how they got it.

StarWars.com: Is it important to you to tell those stories on a personal level, like it’s unfinished business? Is it for George Lucas, is it because you think it makes the story better? Or is it a little bit of everything?

Dave Filoni: I think it’s a little bit of everything. It feels right for Rebels characters to be involved with other characters. Plus, in a lot of ways, creatively, I’ve been the guardian of those characters. I think the audience feels it’s authentic if I’m the one behind telling their story. They have invested in these characters, and want to see that I’m still invested in them, as well. When I go back to telling more of their story, it validates everyone’s investment in them. Many people felt cheated that they didn’t get an ending to Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Now when you look at it, and it wasn’t really intended, you can say you need to watch Clone Wars and then go into Rebels, and then you get the whole story. Which is kind of unique. We’ve been pretty lucky with what we’ve been able to do — telling these stories and finishing stories that would’ve otherwise had no way to end.”

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The Guardian columnist Marina Hyde says The Phantom Menace is ‘racist’

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In a column establishing links between the Brexit and Jar Jar Binks (journalism at its highest point), The Guardian’s Marina Hyde accuses The Phantom Menace of being a ‘racist’ movie. She doesn’t elaborate.

“But before we go on, a reminder of the movie. A horrendously misguided exercise in nostalgia that ends up aborting its own heritage; centred on trade talks that swiftly get out of hand; racist in parts; the sense from the atrociously underwhelming title crawl that this is all going to be hugely important but intergalactically boring …”

Rumor: Obi-Wan movie working title is reportedly ‘Joshua Tree’

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From Omega Underground:

“Today, we at Omega Underground have uncovered the production title for the upcoming Star Wars anthology film featured around Obi-Wan Kenobi. According to a recent listing for Obi-Wan: A Star Wars Story the working title is Joshua Tree. Other recent working titles for Star Wars productions include Space Bears for The Last Jedi and Red Cup for Han Solo (we confirmed back in December).

Why is this working title important?

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Joshua Tree (aka desert yucca palm tree) could be hinting to Joshua Tree Nation Park in Southern California (along with other parks) as a possible shooting location for the new anthology film. The original Star Wars shot some Tatooine scenes at Death Valley National Park and surrounding locations. The location tease supports fan speculation that the Kenobi film will indeed take place on Tatooine.

DEATH VALLEY

Located primarily in the Southern California Desert with a small portion extending into Nevada, Death Valley National Park covers 3.4 million acres (14,000 km), making it the largest park in the lower 48 states. Within this acreage is an almost complete spectrum of the Earth’s geological eras that are well worth a visit beyond the shooting locations.

In January 1977, George Lucas took a second-unit team to Death Valley to film some leftover pick-up shots that weren’t filmed in Tunisia due to difficulties they had encountered there.

The StarWars website also references U2’s Joshua Tree to Death Valley’s Zabriskie Point, one of the locations for A New Hope.

Zabriskie Point, a famous viewpoint just east of Furnace Creek. Come at dawn for the best lightning of these badlands. Zabriskie Point can also been seen on U2’s Joshua Tree album cover.”

Michael K. Williams’ Role Cut From Han Solo Movie Amid Reshoots

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From Deadline:

“Michael Kenneth Williams, an Emmy nominee for his supporting role in HBO’s The Night Of, will not be in the new Star Wars stand-alone Han Solo movie after all. His part has been cut amid the reshoots now underway with new director Ron Howard. Williams said the revamped production schedule conflicted with his commitment to spy drama The Red Sea Diving Resort, his new movie now shooting in South Africa with Ben Kingsley and Chris Evans.

“I felt great about what I created with the directors that I worked with,” said Williams, who was cast in the Han Solo origin story by original helming duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who exited in June. “It is what it is.”

“When Ron Howard got hired to finish out the film, there were some reshoot issues that needed to be done in regards to my character, in order for it to match the new direction which the producers wanted Ron to carry the film in,” Williams told Deadline. “And that would have required me on a plane a month ago to London, to Pinewood, to do reshoots. But I’m here, on location in Africa. It’s scheduling. I’m not going to be back on the market until the end of November after [his SundanceTV series] Hap and Leonard, and for them to wait that long for me, that would have pushed back the release date, which I believe is in May 2018. They wanted me now; I couldn’t go. So they had to clip-clip-clip.”

Plot and character details had been kept under wraps, but Williams said he played a half-human, half-animal in the film and that “we created a kick-ass character, in my opinion. I’m proud of it.””


From Vanity Fair:

[Williams on his character:] ““He wore this beautiful white kimono, was very regal. He had class, money strength, charisma . . . and he knew how to fight. He was a warrior. He had a lot of prestige. If he lived in our world he would probably hang out with Jay Z and Beyoncé.””

 

 

 

Lucasfilm reportedly plans films on Yoda, Boba Fett and Jabba (in addition to Obi-Wan)

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From The Hollywood Reporter:

“The Obi-Wan Kenobi stand-alone is one of several projects being developed by Lucasfilm and Disney that fall outside the trilogies telling the saga of the Skywalker family. A Han Solo movie is now in the final stages of shooting under new director Ron Howard, and Lucasfilm is also considering movies centering on Yoda and bounty hunter Boba Fett, among other characters.


From Variety:

“Disney has been developing several standalone pics with the goal of keeping fans buying tickets while they wait for the next episodes in the main new trilogy. “Rogue One” was the first of the standalones, and Disney is currently shooting an untitled origin tale of beloved smuggler Han Solo. Some of the other standalones in development include a Jabba the Hutt story and a Boba Fett movie.