Artwork courtesy of Joshua Stolte
Welcome back to the Star Wars HoloNet Digest, a weekly feature where I bring you a recap of the latest news from the world of Star Wars. Whether it’s an Episode VII rumor or a noteworthy author interview, you’ll find it here. Let’s check the HoloNet and see what happened in the past week.
We’re kicking things off this week with some fantastic news. On Sunday, June 17, Star Wars: The Clone Wars won an Emmy for Outstanding Special Class Animated Program at the 40th Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy Awards. Carrie Fisher announced the category, and the George Lucas took the stage to accept the award. Producer Cary Silver, supervising director Dave Filoni, and line producer Athena Portillo joined him on stage. This followed the first Emmy win for an individual associated with the series. On Friday, June 15, Doctor Who star David Tennant received a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program for voicing the Jedi droid Huyang during The Clone Wars’ “Young Jedi” story arc. The show received seven Daytime Emmy nominations in total, including two other actors in Tennant’s category.
In an interview with Access Hollywood after the award show, Lucas commented, “We broke a lot of barriers on this show and did something nobody had ever tried to do. Finally, we got recognized for it.” On the subject of the Sequel Trilogy, Lucas said, “I have not spoken to J.J. [Abrams] … I’m sure that he’ll let me know when he’s got some questions.” Meanwhile, on Facebook, Dave Filoni thanked his crew, writing, “These awards represent the hard work of everyone who has worked on The Clone Wars‘ 5 seasons.”
George Lucas also made news recently for a panel he was on with Steven Spielberg at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, Lucas’ alma mater. Lucas’ headline-grabbing comments included the fact that video games are not suited to tell emotional, gripping stories and the prediction that “The next step [in immersive entertainment technology] is to be able to control your dreams.” Variety’s full report of Lucas and Spielberg’s remarks –– which it describes as “a grim view of the future of the majors and predicted theatrical motion pictures will become a niche market” ––can be found here.
Even though George Lucas said that he hasn’t spoken to J.J. Abrams about the specifics of Episode VII, Lucas is confident that Kathleen Kennedy picked the right person for the job. “”I think he understands the whole thing and how it works,” Lucas said during an interview with Access Hollywood at the 2013 Women in Film Crystal + Lucy Awards. He then joked, “If he doesn’t, Kathy [Kennedy] will keep it straight.” Echoing the comment he would make to Access Hollywood a few days later after the Daytime Emmys, Lucas described his involvement in Episode VII by saying, “If they need help or anything, they’ll give me a call,” but he added that he didn’t expect to be doing “much.”
Disney has been very quiet about its plans for Star Wars beyond the major categories of film, television, and video games. Late last week, though, I noticed a report from Theme Park Insider suggesting that the company was definitely moving forward on a “Star Wars land” at its Hollywood Studios park in Orlando, Florida. I brought this report to the attention of a Disney Parks source whom I trust, and I learned a few new nuggets of information about Disney’s theme park plans. For example, plans seem to be in the works for a Mos Eisley Cantina restaurant, as well as an upgrade to Star Tours and new character meet-and-greet opportunities. After you read Theme Park Insider’s story, head over to TheForce.Net for my full report. Whether or not these details ever pan out, Disney undoubtedly knows that it’s sitting on a gold mine with the Star Wars franchise, and I can only imagine that some kind of Star Wars area at a Disney park is on their radar.
If you’re looking for an interesting interview about the making of The Clone Wars after this week’s great Emmy news, I have good news for you. On last Friday’s episode of The ForceCast, we interviewed music composer Kevin Kiner, who was one of the individuals nominated for a Daytime Emmy. Unfortunately, he didn’t win the trophy, which was awarded on Friday night, several days after we spoke to him. But during our conversation, he had a lot of interesting things to say about working with Dave Filoni, the directions that George Lucas had for the series’ music, and the fact that he’s still working on The Clone Wars bonus content. He even plays a few notes throughout the interview to illustrate his points. Check out the ForceCast interview with Kevin Kiner right here.
In Celebration Europe II news, this past week saw the announcement of three new guests for the convention in Germany that’s just a few weeks away. Temuera Morrison, the actor inside Jango Fett’s armor in Episode II, will sign autographs and meet fans at the convention. Also attending are Prequel Trilogy artists Doug Chiang and Iain McCaig. Chiang was the design director on Episode I, while McCaig created the designs for characters like Darth Maul and Queen Amidala. It’s also worth noting that both artists will be returning to the Star Wars universe for the “exciting new future of Star Wars,” according to a Lucasfilm announcement. The announcement did not clarify whether this means the sequels or the spinoff films (or both), but if you enjoyed the aesthetics of the Prequel Trilogy, this is good news for you.
Eric Geller is a college student majoring in political science whose interests include technology, journalism, and of course Star Wars. He reviews The Clone Wars TV series and manages social media for Star Wars fan site TheForce.Net. He also co-hosts The ForceCast podcast. He is originally from the Washington, D.C. area.