Star Wars 7: leaked concept art reveals new clues
Spoiler alert: strange planets, interstellar vehicles, and Star Wars 7 heroes and villains ‘revealed’
For a film production subject to so many non-disclosure agreements, Star Wars Episode 7 has had its fair share of leaks, but the latest one seems to reveal more about the hotly anticipated forthcoming film than the rest put together.
Unverified concept art hints at new villains, exotic locations including desert and ice planets, and a large number of new heroes and vehicles.
A source from popular rumour site Star Wars Underworld claims the images are legitimate, but nothing has been officially confirmed.
One of the pictures seems to resemble the Greenham Common set, which was caught on film by a fan piloting a drone. The aerial footage shows the Millennium Falcon and two partially built X-wing fighters, the Daily Telegraph reports.
There is also an image of a cyborg holding Darth Vader’s helmet. MoviesWeb speculates that the image may actually be a future incarnation of Luke Skywalker.
One picture seems to depict Daisy Ridley’s character (rumoured to be named Kira) wielding a light-saber. The image “sheds new light on the character’s relationship with Max von Sydow’s character, who is said to be an older cyborg who recognises the light-saber Kira finds and helps propel the story forward,” MoviesWeb says.
Below are some of the images retweeted by Star Wars enthusiasts around the world.
Star Wars 7: filming to finish in three weeks
The filming of Star Wars Episode 7 is just three weeks from completion, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has revealed.
Once the cameras have stopped rolling the film will go into post-production. The footage will be edited, and special effects, sound and the score added ahead of a scheduled release in December 2015.
Kennedy made the announcement last week at the opening of the Industrial Light and Magic studios in London – its first studio in the UK – where the sci-fi blockbuster will take shape.
The film production company was originally set up by Star Wars Creator George Lucas in 1975 to “pioneer groundbreaking special effects”, The Guardian says. It was purchased as part of Disney’s £2.4bn takeover of Lucasfilm in 2012.
The announcement is good news for Star Wars fans anxious for the film to stay on track for release next year after filming was suspended for two weeks in July when Harrison Ford was injured on the set. According to reports at the time, Ford’s accident occurred when a spacecraft door on the Millennium Falcon fell and broke his leg.
The opening of the new studio “continues a long tradition of Star Wars movies being made in London”, Kennedy said. “It goes back to 1976, and to know that we are now coming back and we will be making the movies once again based out of Pinewood, and now we’re looking to put together this studio, it’s rather remarkable that this has all come together in less than two years,” she said.
Given the enormous interest in the production, it is “incredible that the crew has managed to keep its plot (mostly) under wraps”, The Independent says. However, there have been unconfirmed plot leaks that suggest the story will begin with new comers John Boyega and Daisy Ridley’s characters discovering Luke Skywalker’s severed hand from The Empire Strikes Back and going on a quest to find the old Jedi master.
Last week, original Star Wars actor Warwick Davis revealed in a tweet that he will return for the new film.
Other cast members returning for the sequel include Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Kenny Baker and Peter Mayhew.
Star Wars Episode 7 is set for release on 18 December, 2015.
Star Wars Episode 7 features ‘hundreds’ of stormtroopers
Star Wars fans have had perhaps the most tantalising glimpse yet into the latest instalment of the beloved sci-fi series. Cast member Oscar Isaac has told Entertainment Weekly that there are “hundreds of Stormtroopers on set”.
The news is significant for two reasons: first, it suggests the Empire is – so to speak – striking back. Second, it’s yet another indication that Abrams is shunning the CGI which many fans feel made the last three instalments so anodyne.
In the Start Trek mythos, Stromtroopers – named after a WW1 German army service – are a clone army created by the evil Emperor Palpatine. They dominate the first three films, made from 1977 to 1983, and their return will delight old-school fans.
But the news that there are “hundreds” of extras on set playing the soldiers is also revealing for the many fans who were disappointed with the later films. It’s the latest sign that Abrams is keen to avoid using computers to generate sets and extras.
Isaac said: “There’s a lot of enthusiasm [on the set] and it’s being done with a lot of heart. There’s nothing cynical about the way we’re doing this”.
He added: “Even in the way [Abrams] is shooting it – he’s shooting on film and actually building the sets, so you’ve got hundreds of Stormtroopers, or whatever, and hundreds of extras and all the ships. You actually see it. It’s all real.”
Anthony Daniels, the British actor who has played the robotic interpreter C-3PO in every Star Wars film, said last week that he has been back inside a robot suit for the movie, reports The Guardian. In the more recent prequel films, Daniels was replaced by a digital version of the character in action sequences: “It wasn’t very good. In fact, I’m going to say it was awful. With me [in the suit], he’s always going to move the same way and have the same reactions, timing and so on.
“With CGI, you’re working with some brilliant person on the keyboard who is trying to pretend to be me.”
After a brief visit to the set, film director Kevin Smith revealed how detailed and extensive the props built for the film are. Rather than an empty room with a green-screen background, he said the set looked like “a shot right out of a f****** Star Wars movie”.
Star Wars Episode 7: fans quarrel over new X-Wing – video
Fans have descended into name calling and recrimination after director JJ Abrams revealed a new-look for the famous X-Wing Starfighter that will feature in the forthcoming Star Wars Episode 7 film.
In a video promoting a Unicef fundraising programme Force for Change, Abrams can be seen standing in front of a life-sized model of a battered-looking futuristic fighter jet.
But the footage caused a furious debate, with passionate Star Wars enthusiasts quarrelling over whether the vehicle was not, in fact, an X-Wing, but a lesser-known spaceship called a Z-95 Headhunter.
The official Star Wars Twitter feed soon weighed in on the discussion to confirm that the ship is an updated version of the X-Wing piloted by Luke Skywalker in the original film trilogy.
The decision to use real props rather than computer-generated ones “will surely please Star Wars purists”, says Mashable‘s Lance Ulmanoff, many of whom objected to the use of CGI in the trilogy of prequels that brought George Lucas’s involvement with the Star Wars universe to a close.
X-Wings are known for being able to split their wings, known as S-foils into four, to form an x shape. Fans were confused by the fact that the plane in the new clip seemed only to have two engines, rather than four. But another tweet from Lucasfilm showing original concept art from Ralph McQuarrie helped clear up the misunderstanding.
Since May, the Force for Change fundraiser has attracted donations from fans in 119 countries who have given more than $1 million hoping for the chance to visit the London set of Episode 7 and appear in the film.
Star Wars Episode 7: Film crew ‘spotted in Forest of Dean’
The arrival of a large film crew at Puzzlewood in the Forest of Dean has prompted rumours that Star Wars: Episode 7 is currently shooting scenes in Gloucestershire.
In a BBC video report, journalist Steve Knibbs shows that Puzzlewood’s car park has been taken over by “Winnebago after Winnebago” as a high-security film crew arrives to shoot material for an unspecified project. He also reports that the production’s security team and the park’s owner refused to “confirm or deny anything” about the crew’s suspected connection to the Star Wars.
The Forest of Dean has been used previously as a filming location for Doctor Who, Merlin, and Atlantis, but Knibbs says “this is no ordinary TV series or film here”.
Even though the project’s identity remains a mystery, critics are speculating about which planet might make use of forest scenery in the new Star Wars film. The Independent hypothesises that scenes could be “set on the Ewok planet Endor or in the Dagobah system”.
Both fictional planets were highly significant locations in earlier films. Dagobah was Yoda’s sanctuary in The Empire Strikes Back, and the final battle between the Empire and the Rebel Alliance was fought on Endor in Return of the Jedi.
“With its lush greenery and twisted trunks, Puzzlewood might be being used for the Ewoks’ home or Yoda’s place of refuge, or might be a new planet we’ve never seen before,” the paper suggests.
The film is still scheduled for release on December 18, 2015.