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 announcement or a noteworthy author interview, you’ll find it here. Let’s check the HoloNet and see what happened in the past two weeks.
Rejoice, book lovers! Lucasfilm has announced the third annual Star Wars Reads Day. On October 11, 2014, bookstores and libraries will hold reading-themed events, some of which will feature Star Wars authors. Already the list of participating authors includes Troy Denning, Daniel Wallace, Jason Fry, John Jackson Miller, Ian Doescher, and many others. Click the link above to read more about the event and consider getting involved in bringing the magic of reading and the galaxy far, far away to kids and families around the world.
The big news on the film front is that Star Wars Episode VII has begun filming. Alan Horn confirmed this in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, saying, “We’re actually shooting some of [the movie] now.” These shoots are most likely not part of principal photography, which is expected to begin in May. There are many other aspects of filming that can begin before the bulk of the production gets underway. Horn’s other interesting comment was that casting was not complete. He said “a lot” of actors had been cast, which is to be expected, but that the cast list was “not completely done yet.”
We have no idea when we’ll hear more about Episode VII, but we do expect some news about Star Wars Rebels later this month. The official schedule for WonderCon 2014 in Anaheim, California, includes a Rebels panel, featuring executive producer Dave Filoni, Hera voice actress Vanessa Marshall, and other “special guests.” The Official Star Wars Blog is letting you ask Dave questions in its comments section. The panel will take place on Saturday, April 19 at 2:00 p.m., and I recommend following @theforcenet on Twitter for live updates.
Video game fans will be excited to hear that one of the people behind an extremely popular game franchise is moving over to Electronic Arts to work on one of its upcoming Star Wars games. EA announced on April 5 that Amy Hennig, formerly of Naughty Dog’s hugely successful Uncharted series, is joining Visceral Games to work on its Star Wars project. In a series of tweets, Hennig wrote, “It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to contribute to the Star Wars universe, after it’s had such a formative influence on my life. … This opportunity is the confluence of the 2 most influential experiences of my youth, and I couldn’t be more excited to go on this journey.” No release date –– or really any information whatsoever –– has been announced for Visceral’s Star Wars game. EA’s DICE studio is also working on a game for the franchise: the much-anticipated reboot of the Battlefront series.
Ever since Disney bought Lucasfilm, I’ve been wondering when the company would start tying Star Wars into its primetime programming. Last week, we learned that Lucasfilm was partnering with not just corporate sibling ABC, but also the network’s rival CBS, for Star Wars-themed episodes of two of the channels’ biggest shows. CBS’ geek sitcom The Big Bang Theory and ABC’s 1980s comedy The Goldbergs will each get a Star Wars episode in the days surrounding May 4, for obviously geeky reasons. May the Fourth be with these episodes; given the audience they’re aiming to please, they’re going to need it.
Lastly, the latest edition of Star Wars Insider has revealed the stage hosts for Celebration Anaheim (April 16-19, 2015). Jason Arnold Taylor and David Collins will return to host the Celebrity and Digital Stages, as they did at Celebration VI in 2012. Hosting the Behind-the-Scenes stage this time around are podcasters Jason Swank and Jimmy McInerney. Collector extraordinaire Gus Lopez will also be back in charge of the Collecting Track. You can get the full low-down in Insider #149, which should be hitting subscribers’ mailboxes now.
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.