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Friday, February 8, 2013

Star Wars News and Speculation

Written by Jon Williams

You’ve probably heard by now that J.J. Abrams has signed on to direct the seventh installment of the Star Wars franchise, due to hit theatres in 2015. Abrams is known for creating or co-creating the TV series Felicity, Alias, Fringe, and Lost. His big-screen work has included directing Mission: Impossible III, Super 8, and, interestingly enough, the 2009 reboot of Star Trek (as well as its upcoming sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness, which releases in May).

Obviously, Abrams’s sci-fi and action chops are well developed. With Michael Arndt (who wrote, among other things, Little Miss Sunshine and Toy Story 3) drafting the script, the beginning of the next trilogy appears to be in good hands.

What you may not have heard is that Disney’s plans for standalone, non-trilogy Star Wars films are beginning to take shape. It was reported earlier this week that individual films would focus on single characters from the movies in their adventures outside the scope of those stories. An early rumour speculated that Jedi Master Yoda would get his own film; more plausible buzz centers on Han Solo (in his younger days) and the bounty hunter Boba Fett, respectively. Perhaps we could see Ewan McGregor reprise his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi?

And there’s more good news on the writing front for these as-yet nebulous standalone films. One scribe attached is Simon Kinberg, who’s known for (again, among other things) Mr. & Mrs. Smith and Sherlock Holmes. Another is Lawrence Kasdan, a man already known to Star Wars fans as the writer of The Empire Strikes Back (widely considered the best movie in the series) and Return of the Jedi. The pair will also do some writing for the new trilogy films.

Aside from casting, one major question remains when it comes to names attached to new Star Wars films: who will write the score? John Williams, composer for all six films to date, turns 81 years old today. You have to think it’s his job if he’s interested; but if he’s not…? Joel McNeely has experience composing for Star Wars, whereas Michael Giacchino frequently works with J.J. Abrams. Would one of them get the job?

Needless to say, there are still plenty of questions to be answered. One thing that goes without saying, though, is that interest in Star Wars remains strong. Make sure you have a broad selection of DVDs and Blu-rays, music CDs, and audiobooks for your patrons to check out and enjoy.

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