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. I hope all of our American readers had a great Thanksgiving weekend. Now let’s check the HoloNet and see what happened in the past two weeks.
J.J. Abrams is making the rounds doing interviews for his new book S., and of course Star Wars Episode VII comes up just about every time. Two interviews that caught my attention came from Total Film and MTV. Abrams told the Total Film interviewer that he was thrilled to be working with fellow screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan on the film’s story, calling it “one of the most surreal joys of my life.” He also said that he had always wanted to shoot a movie in London, although “the reality of making a movie like that for any period of time becomes much more difficult when there are other people that you desperately love and care for involved.” In speaking to MTV, Abrams expressed relief at the Walt Disney Company’s decision to push Episode VII back to December 2015 from its original summer release. The original summer plan “didn’t necessarily have to do with the reality of where anyone was creatively,” Abrams said diplomatically. He said that the current plan is “an infinitely better situation now than when they were saying they wanted it in summer.”
Even though it has been off the air for nine months, Star Wars: The Clone Wars continues to grab attention with the occasional bonus content rumor, and now we have concrete good news that’s sure to please longtime fans of the series. The Clone Wars received two nominations for the 41st Annual Annie Awards, which celebrates the best of animated television and film over the last year. Keith Kellogg was nominated for “Character Animation in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production” and Jason W.A. Tucker received a nod for “Editorial in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production.” ILM also received four nominations for their film work. This year’s Annie Awards ceremony, presented by ASIFA-Hollywood, will take place on Saturday, February 1, 2014, in Los Angeles, CA. Congratulations to Kellogg, Tucker, and the entire team behind this excellent show for the latest round of much-deserved recognition.
Like the rebellion against the Empire itself, Star Wars Rebels has been flying under the radar in recent months. Ever since New York Comic Con in October, the series has received little, if any, official attention. That changed today, as the official Star Wars YouTube channel posted a video interview with Greg Weisman, one of the executive producers on Rebels. “This whole thing is kind of a joy,” said Weisman, who may be best known for creating the Gargoyles TV show. “Every once in a while, you have this moment where you’re going, ‘We’re doing a lightsaber battle!’ It’s just really cool.”
Electronic Arts chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen recently revealed that his company will not be pursuing Star Wars movie tie-in games as part of its long-term videogame license with Disney. “We’ve done movie games over the years and we wanted to make sure that we weren’t doing a movie game, i.e., game based on the movie,” Jorgensen told an audience at the UBS Global Technology Conference in California last month. “The beauty of the Star Wars franchise is that it’s so broad and so deep, you don’t have to do a movie game, you can do a game that’s very focused on the world that’s been created around Star Wars.” For what it’s worth, I completely support this decision. Why focus on rehashing the plot of a movie when you can explore new ways to make Star Wars videogames relevant and vibrant again? This was a smart move, and it has made me expect great things from EA’s future Star Wars games.
The next Star Wars novel on the release calendar is Star Wars: Maul: Lockdown by Joe Schreiber. Del Rey’s Star Wars Books Facebook page is keeping the excitement for this book going by posting micro-excerpts from the story, and the second excerpt went online while we were on hiatus. Check it out here. Maul: Lockdown will be out on January 28, 2014. In addition, the next issue of Star Wars Insider (#146) will include a short story that ties into Lockdown, so be sure to pick up that issue. In other literature news, J.W. Rinzler and Mike Mayhew’s The Star Wars #4 will be released today, continuing Dark Horse’s adaptation of an early version of George Lucas’s story for A New Hope.
We don’t usually get much Star Wars action in my home city of Washington, D.C., so I was excited to see the 501st Legion’s Old Line Garrison appear on Capitol Hill last weekend to promote the proposed Museum of Science Fiction. This project aims to “to create a center of gravity where art and science are powered by imagination,” and they are currently raising money to build a preview site in D.C. that will raise awareness of (and funds for) the full museum. On Sunday, members of the Old Line Garrison posed for photos and shot a promotional video for the museum in front of the U.S. Capitol. Local media outlets, including DCist, WTOP, and The Washington Post, were on the scene, so check out their reports for photos, writeups, and interviews with the troopers. You can connect with the organizers of the Museum of Science Fiction on Facebook and on Twitter.
And speaking of social media, we’ve got a quick hit to round out the HoloNet Digest this week. Lucas Online recently launched the official Star Wars Instagram account. As of mid-day Wednesday, the account had almost 150,000 followers and had uploaded five photos. To kick things off, Lucas Online posted a photo of Darth Vader taking a “selfie.” This leads me to wonder: What will be the next social media platform to welcome the galaxy far, far away? Could it be Pinterest? Tumblr? Does anyone still use MySpace? Maybe there’s a place for the minions of the Galactic Empire on LinkedIn? Only time will tell!
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.