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.
It’s been a rather quiet week in Star Wars news, but Bad Robot Productions did set the information-starved Internet abuzz when it tweeted a picture of Star Wars Episode VII executive producer Kathleen Kennedy, director J.J. Abrams, and a very familiar astromech droid hanging out in “the workshop” at Bad Robot HQ. This was the first behind-the-scenes photo from Episode VII to become public, although I wouldn’t be surprised if Lucasfilm had someone capturing a lot of the preproduction work for the inevitable Blu-ray set bonus features.
— Bad Robot (@bad_robot) November 14, 2013
As soon as the photo hit the web, a steady stream of news organizations and fan blogs proclaimed that R2-D2 was the first character confirmed to be in Episode VII. Yesterday, The Official Star Wars Blog confirmed the droid’s “casting” in an article about the two people who built the droid pictured with Abrams and Kennedy, R2-D2 Builders Club members Lee Towersey and Oliver Steeples. But Towersey and Steeples didn’t just get to pose for a photo with their creation and two of the biggest names in the modern Star Wars world. They’re also now “officially part of the Creature Effects team” for Episode VII, according to the blog.
As open casting continues across the United Kingdom and the United States, there has been no shortage of press reports from the cities that have played host to casting sessions. If you’re interested in reading these reports, head over to TheForce.Net, where we’ve collected news articles and videos from Troy, Michigan, and Chicago, Illinois.
Today sees the release of Dawn of the Jedi: Force War #1, the first issue in a new arc of comics set in the GFFA’s distant past. Elsewhere in the Star Wars literature world, book publishers shared a few new tidbits about upcoming titles that are worth mentioning here. First, Lucasfilm editor and author J.W. Rinzler revealed the cover art for his 2014 book Star Wars Storyboards: The Original Trilogy. Later that same day, Del Rey posted the first micro-excerpt from Star Wars: Maul: Lockdown by Joe Schreiber, which will be released on January 28, 2014 (note the one-week date change). And finally, yesterday Del Rey posted the updated cover art for James S.A. Corey’s Han Solo-centric novel Star Wars: Honor Among Thieves. That book will be released on March 4, 2014.
The HoloNet Digest will be taking next week off due to the Thanksgiving holiday, but I’ll see everyone right back here for Digest #40 in two weeks.
Eric Geller is a college student majoring in political science whose interests include technology, journalism, and of course Star Wars. He co-hosts The ForceCast podcast and manages social media for Star Wars fan sites TheForce.Net and Rebelscum.com. He is originally from the Washington, D.C. area.