Even as we're in the mix of the awards and festival season, at the end of the day, while prestige is nice, money is actually something you can hold on to and put into the bank. And as such, the focus at the major studios still tends to be on their tentpoles and blockusters, and increasingly these days, their world building franchises. And, it's a not a big surprise that Disney wants to exploit as much of their "Star Wars" catalog as possibly, and while everything involving the series is still being kept under strict lock and key, a couple more morsels of what their plans will be have been revealed over the last few days.
With three more sequels, and spin off films, already announced to arrive in alternating years kicking off with "Star Wars: Episode 7" in 2015, producer Kathleen Kennedy has revealed how everything will crossover...or not. "The spin-off movies, or we may come up with some other way to call those films, they exist within that vast universe that [George Lucas] created. ... There is no attempt being made to carry characters [from the standalone films] in and out of the saga episodes," she told Singapore's Straits Times (print edition, via The Force).
So, it would seem that if there is a Boba Fett movie (with rumors building and suggesting that's the case), we won't find him kicking it in the background of "Star Wars: Episode 8." It's an intriguing notion, one that suggests Disney are confident enough in the popularity of core characters such as Yoda or Young Han Solo (also rumored for their own films) to carry their own weight in a single movie. And perhaps they are being adventurous enough to create whole stories for these characters to exist within. That said, Kennedy's comments leave a lot of room for interpretation, and given Marvel's success and tying everything into one unifying world, it's hard to imagine Disney won't borrow a few pages from that playbook.
Meanwhile, J.J. Abrams, speaking at the Television Critics Association press tour (via The Wrap), dropped a couple morsels about where things stand on "Star Wars: Episode 7" at the moment. “We’re working really hard and we’ve got our script and we’re in deep prep,” he said. “Full steam ahead, y’know.”
As for casting, Abrams is of course keeping his mouth shut, but does confirm recent reports that he met with Jesse Plemons, though he does caution about reading too much into chatter. "It’s not often that I read about actors that I’m going to be meeting … that I get to read articles about actors who are going to come in. And so I get to see someone and say, ‘Oh, I read that I’m going to see you.’ … It’s usually agents talking to people about what’s happening. It’s a lot of noise.”
And while Abrams got a lot attention when it was revealed he would be shooting on 35mm film for the sequel, don't expect any IMAX sequences from the director, who utilized the format on "Star Trek Into Darkness." “The problem with IMAX is it’s a very loud camera. It’s a very unreliable camera. Only so much film can be in the camera. You can’t really do intimate scenes with it. It’s slow. They break down often. Having said that, they’re working on digital versions of these and so there may be a version one day. But we’re going to be shooting this next movie on film,” he explained.
So, a few more things to ponder, and be sure to weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section. And as an extra treat, here are some original trilogy posters designed by Marko Manev (via Collider).