To celebrate International Star Wars Day this year on May 4, the franchise whet fans appetite with details on the much-anticipated Episode VII – The Force Awakens, as well as details of the expansion of the intergalactic universe…
First off, the next film (Episode VIII) after The Force Awakens will be shot in London in 2016 with Rian Johnson in the director’s seat. The film is scheduled for a 2017 release. In addition to this, a set of anthology films that focus on the years between Episodes III and IV are in the making, with the first titled Rogue One (2016) starring Felicity Jones. It’s rumoured that that the second untitled anthology film will centre on villainous bounty hunter Boba Fett and his origins.
New images from The Forces Awakens include a cover of Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), and newcomers from the BB-8 droid, Daisy Ridley (Rey) and John Boyega (Finn), unveiled by Vanity Fair this week. The images were shot by the famous Annie Leibovitz and as if they weren’t juicy enough, an exclusive behind-the-scenes video was uploaded for avid fans.
In tantalising last place, more of the star-studded cast was unveiled: Adam Driver (Girls), Gwendoline Christie (Brienne from Game of Thrones) and Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave) will all take over as pivotal characters. Driver will be Kylo Ren, the lightsaber-wielding villain seen in the teaser. Christie is Captain Phasma (pictured below via Vanity Fair), a member of the First Order (the surviving remnants of the galactic empire).
Nyong’o will be CGI’ed Maz Kanata: “a pirate of some sort,” according to Vanity Fair. It seems that Nyong’o has done some physical exercises to motion capture the character in the behind-the-scenes video. While Maz Kanata doesn’t appear among the photos, there’s an image of her castle filled with “galactic travelers, smugglers, and other assorted riffraff.”
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens will be out on December 18, 2015. In the meantime, we recommend that you indulge in a movie marathon with friends from the galaxy far, far away. May the Fourth be with ye.