For an intensely private person who has often shunned the bright lights of Hollywood for his ranch in Marin County, George Lucas and his Star Wars franchise have certainly been in the news a lot over the past few months. First it was the news that he had sold Lucasfilm to Disney for US$4.05 billion. Then the announcement that Disney would be making the final trilogy (Episodes VII, VIII and IX) with the first slated for release in 2015. This was quickly followed up with confirmation that JJ Abrams would be taking the helm of Episode VII and now in a new interview with Bloomberg’s Business Week, Lucas has revealed more interesting tidbits for fans to salivate over.
As we reported yesterday, Lucas was in talks with the original stars, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford, about reprising their iconic roles in the latest trilogy before the Disney deal had even gone through. Whether they have signed on the dotted line we eagerly await an announcement from starwars.com.
Harrison Ford has vocally expressed his desire that his character, Han Solo, had been killed off in Episode VI: Return of the Jedi and his desire to distance himself from the role and franchise over the years, I imagine there has been some reluctance on his part in signing on for more intergalactic adventures. However, he wasn’t the only one. Back in November 2012 when J.J. Abrams was asked whether he was involved in the project, he adamantly denied it and then it was announced he was directing in January. So what went on in those two months? Was Abrams trying an old Jedi mind trick to misdirect fans? Actually he wasn’t. He was concerned that Episode VII would be too similar to his Star Trek films and that he should try something different. It was revealed that it was only when Lucasilm President, Kathleen Kennedy visited Abrams at his Bad Robot production offices in late December that she was able to convince him to come on board – though it took two hours of convincing. Maybe they need to send her round to Ford and Hamill’s places to get seal the deal.
There had been a bit of discussion a few years back about a Star Wars Live Action Series and fans were worried that with the news that the next trilogy was going to be made that plans for the Live Action Series were being shelved. However, that may not be the case. Though it wasn’t raised during the article, Hollywood.com is reporting that Disney CEO Bob Iger has confirmed that the series, tentatively titled Star Wars: Underworld, is still under discussion.
Speaking of the Disney CEO, apparently he engaged Lucas in a lightsaber duel at the 2011 opening of the Star Wars: The Adventure Continues ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Florida. Lucas proved to be hefty with the old Jedi weapon quickly besting Iger. He remarked that Lucas “was more adept at using it than me”. Well he has had about thirty-five years at least of playing with one.
Are you still hoping there will be a Live Action Star Wars TV series? What are your thoughts on the original leads appearing in the next trilogy? Let us know!