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With almost 40 years of history - encompassing films, TV, comic books, video games and novels - there's a wealth of interesting facts and information about the vast universe hatched by George Lucas.
Here are ten fast facts we've discovered from a galaxy far, far away…
1. Inspired by the swashbuckling Flash Gordon adventures that began in the '30s, a young George Lucas initially wanted to bring that serial to the big screen, but found the rights to the character difficult to untangle. From there he began to fashion his own space epic - a project that would eventually become the Star Wars we know and love.
However, things could have been a lot different as Lucas's first draft script was »
Finally some Star Wars: Episode VII news! Not terribly surprising news mind you. But at the rate it's been coming we'll take anything won't we?
So then, lets get down to it. Here's the news from StarWars.com...
"Disney and Lucasfilm are excited to announce that principal photography on Star Wars: Episode VII, directed by J.J. Abrams, will commence May 2014, and will be based at London's historic Pinewood Studios.
March 22, 1976 -- The first day of principal photography in Tozeur, Tunisia, for Star Wars. A crew of 130 ventures into the desert in 42 trucks and cars, including eight army trucks full of equipment. The first shot was completed at 9:35 a.m.
March 5, 1979 -- The first day of principal photography in Finse, »
- Chris Cooper
We’ve heard a lot of news, or should I rumours, revolving around Star Wars Episode VII, but there has been no solid, official releases from Lucasfilm and Disney of late, until now. StarWars.com posted an official release on the site late yesterday. A lot of the release was a timeline of the history of the first day of shooting on each of the films, but the last line of the release confirmed that Episode VII will be ‘set about 30 years after the events of Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, and will star a trio of new young leads along with some very familiar faces. No further details on casting or plot are available at this time.’
Will the familiar faces be that of Han Solo, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker? The timeline fits with the ageing of the actors, but we’ll have to »
- Paul Heath
Up until this point, most of what we’ve heard regarding Star Wars: Episode VII has been mere rumor or speculation. We all knew that with J.J. Abrams at the helm any details would be shrouded in secrecy, but this has been ridiculous. There still hasn’t been a single official casting announcement made — even for the expected return of the primary cast from the original trilogy. However, today two pieces of news have dropped straight from the house of Disney.
First off, Disney and Lucasfilm announced through their official Star Wars site that principal photography for Episode VII will begin in May. I’ve included the official announcement below, along with a timeline of all the start dates for the previous installments in the franchise.
The second piece of news comes straight from Disney CEO Bob Iger. Iger spoke at Disney’s annual shareholder meeting this morning and casually »
- Eli Reyes
BBC2's first world war drama 37 Days was a march over very familiar territory. Spoiler alert: negotiations didn't work
37 Days (BBC2) | iPlayer
Line of Duty (BBC2) | iPlayer
Mind the Gap: London vs the Rest (BBC2) | iPlayer
As Russia's forces gathered on its western border last week, we were reminded once again that history repeats itself. First as tragedy, then as a three-part BBC series.
The particular section of history dramatised in 37 Days has been repeating itself of late like a pub bore on a baked bean diet. We may have our educational lacunae in this country, but surely most viewers could now gain an Oxford history first on the causes of the first world war.
Written by Mark Hayhurst, who scripted 2011's The Man Who Crossed Hitler, 37 Days covered the period between the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on 28 June 1914 and Britain's declaration of war against Germany on 4 August. »
- Andrew Anthony
Jonathan Creek's latest episode continued to attract high ratings for BBC One last night (March 7), coming in as the highest-rated TV show outside of soaps.
Meanwhile, ITV's new documentary series Student Nurses: Bedpans and Bandages wowed 2.66 million viewers (12.6%) from 8pm, as first-year trainee Kelly dealt with the challenges of nursing. A further 118.6k (0.6%) tuned in an hour later on ITV+1.
The channel maintained much of the audience at 9pm, as 2.19 million (6.3%) stayed to watch Edge of Heaven. An extra 150.8k (0.9%) caught the episode an hour later, as Alfie and Michelle go their separate ways in an attempt to keep their kiss under wraps from Carly. »
The Voice UK: BBC One, 7pm
The battle rounds conclude tonight as the remaining contestants fight for their place in the next stage of the competition.
In this episode there are a total of 12 new pairs all ready to battle it out and impress the juges, including twin act Gemyni against Jade Mayjean Peters, who got all four judges to turn around for her in her blind audition. Will her luck continue tonight?
True Detective: Sky Atlantic, 9pm
Hunt and Cohle embark on a manhunt for a tall man with scarring who they believe is their killer, against pressure to turn the case over to the official force. Their investigations lead them to a religious school - but before they can explore further, new evidence puts Lange back in the spotlight.
In his personal life, Hart sees Lisa out on a date with a new man and his jealousy gets the better of him. »
This forensic political thriller about the countdown to the Great War is as much about the people as the momentous events
Causes of the first world war? I test a few colleagues. The assassination of Franz Ferdinand, they say (Alex Kapranos say the ones who think they're funny). Austria-Hungary, Serbia, Russia, Germany of course. Militarism, nationalism, imperialism, all sorts of isms. Basically they don't really know, apart from a few smartarses who watched Max Hastings and/or Niall Ferguson the other day. It's not surprising, it is bloody complicated, the culmination of decades of hostility, conflict and alliances. How the hell do you turn all that into drama?
By boiling it down to 37 Days (BBC2), the ones between the Austrian archduke and his missus's demise at the hands of a Serbian nationalist, and the outset of one of the bloodiest conflicts in history. The immediate causes in other words, and »
- Sam Wollaston
Golf: Wgc-Cadillac Championship
6pm, Sky Sports 4
Opening day's coverage from Doral, Florida of the elite event featuring top ranking players from the Official World Golf Ranking, PGA and European tours. PGA world number one Tiger Woods was victorious here last year, and will be looking to continue an impressive run of form on this course – the 2013 championship was his seventh overall. Stiff competition should be provided by Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose, who won the tournament in 2013. Gwilym Mumford
Angela Rippon, Helen Skelton and Joe Crowley return, donning their factor 40 and heading off in search of pressing consumer issues for holidaymakers. The perils of hotel balconies are given startling illustration from Lee Charie, who survived a fall in Thailand, »
- Gwilym Mumford, Ben Arnold, Bim Adewunmi, Ali Catterall, Jonathan Wright, Rachel Aroesti, Hannah J Davies, David Stubbs
Birds of a Feather: ITV, 8:30pm
This final episode brings the tenth series to a close tonight and Sharon and Tracey are given an unpleasant glimpse of their future.
Meanwhile, Dorien appears in court and attempts to save her reputation after losing her job last week.
37 Days: BBC Two, 9pm
This three-part political thriller series written by Mark Hayhurst begins tonight, and centres on the movements of those in power in the unpredictable days leading up to the outbreak of the First World War.
In Berlin, the Kaiser (Rainer Sellien) attempts to use this assassination and the subsequent unsteady political climate to his own advantage.
The Big Reunion: ITV2, 9pm
In this week's show two more bands - Damage and »
Want to make sure you don't miss anything great on the telly in the next seven days? Never fear, because Tube Talk has done all the hard work for you and smushed all of this week's must-see TV into one snappy rundown. Check out what you should be checking out below...
Outnumbered: Wednesday (March 5) at 9pm on BBC One
We've been dreading this day, the day when we finally have to cut the apron strings and let go of the kids from Outnumbered. Sorry, we thought we'd be able to stay strong but it's just too...*dabs eyes with hankie*
Yes, after five series, the show's child stars Tyger Drew-Honey (Jake), Daniel Roche (Ben) and Ramona Marquez (Karen) are starting to dwarf their on-screen parents Hugh Dennis and Claire Skinner, meaning it's time to bring the beloved BBC sitcom to an end. In this final episode, Auntie Angela (Samantha Bond »
That '70s Show star Topher Grace wanted to learn how to edit film, so as an exercise, he took it upon himself to make a one-film cut with footage from the three Star Wars prequels, which includes Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. What resulted was an 85-minute sci-fi adventure that is lean, mean and has been quite enjoyed by those who've seen it. It was never meant to be released outside Topher Grace's circle of friends, but that might have changed after a couple years being asked repeatedly about it. We don't have a confirmed release date for Star Wars: Episode III.5, but we may finally get to see it as Topher has cut together and released a teaser trailer, which helps to remind fans why »
Over the past year we've been tortured by rumour after rumour surrounding the casting of Disney and Lucasfilm's eagerly-anticipated Star Wars: Episode VII. Just this week, it's been alleged that Gary Oldman (RoboCop, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, Star Trek Into Darkness) are set to venture to a galaxy far, far away, along with returning cast members Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Ian McDiarmid, and Warwick Davies.
So far, absolutely none of these rumours have been confirmed, but now we may have our very first addition to Episode VII, with Variety reporting that Girls star Adam Driver is close to signing on to play the villain, described as "in the vein" of the Dark Lord of the Sith himself, Darth Vader. It's not the first time that Driver's name has been brought up as a possibility for the film, with »
- Gary Collinson
According to MarketSaw, Gary Oldman (RoboCop, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, Star Trek Into Darkness) have signed onto star in the new Star Wars trilogy beginning with 2015's Star Wars: Episode VII.
Last month, Oldman confirmed he’d had “conversations” with Lucasfilm but never indicated if he would be taking on a role. The site continues by “confirming” Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher’s return, along with Billy Dee Williams, Ian McDiarmid, and Warwick Davies. Meanwhile, the report also claims that Harrison Ford has signed on to appear in Two more Indiana Jones movies as part of his deal to return as Han Solo.
Once again, any Star Wars casting rumours could be nothing but speculation and until Abrams comes out and announces the cast, this should be taken with an incredibly large pinch of salt. However it should be noted that »
- Gary Collinson
News Simon Brew 25 Feb 2014 - 07:26
We're getting the sense that the constant round of Star Wars: Episode VII rumours is getting just a little bit wearing. We're certainly feeling that too, and that means we tread carefully when working out which stories to report and which to leave well alone.
This one looks like it's got a bit more to it, given the source. Marketsaw's generally been on the money with the stories it breaks, and it's got a new update on Star Wars: Episode VII.
The site reports that Ian McDiarmid, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billie Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels and Warwick Davies are all set to return (most of those have been linked for some time, of course). Furthermore, it says that after initially being pursued for the same part in Jj Abrams' new film, »
More rumors out of the Lucasfilm camp this week, this time dealing with two bits of "Star Wars" casting talk, a follow-up to that "Indiana Jones 5" report the other week, and some talk of potential story directions for 'Episode VII'.
All the information today comes from Market Saw who vouch for their source and claim they've been using them for years. None of this is confirmed so take it for what it is. Here's their report:
"[Cast so far includes] Ian McDiarmid, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Warwick Davies, Benedict Cumberbatch and Gary Oldman. I believe Cumberbatch and Oldman were pursued for the same role, but I don't know how that will work out with the script changes, but I'm told they are both involved.
- Garth Franklin
According to new reports, the original cast of the "Star Wars" films, plus several other 'beloved' characters from the Lucasfilm saga, will return for director Jj Abrams' "Star Wars: Episode VII", targeting a Summer 2015 wide release:
Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher are reportedly locked in for the film, as well as Billy Dee Williams as 'Lando', Ian McDiarmid as 'Emperor Palpatine', Anthony Daniels as 'C3PO' and Warwick Davies as 'Wicket'. Also cast are Benedict Cumberbatch and Gary Oldman.
"...two 17 year old twins, a girl and a boy, are trained by their uncle 'Luke' to be the greatest 'Jedis' in the galaxy. But problems arise when the male twin turns to the dark side.
"'Jaina Solo'- Female, 17 years old, lead –one of the greatest Jedis in the galaxy, trained by her uncle 'Luke Skywalker'.
'"'Jacen Solo' – Male, 17 years old, lead – Jaina’s twin brother. He is »
- Michael Stevens
At this point, it’s not even worth the time or energy to post a Star Wars: Episode VII rumor, yet here I am writing another one up. Why, you ask? Well, because this one is actually quite exciting, despite the fact that it may not be true. What we’re hearing today is that Benedict Cumberbatch and Gary Oldman, two actors who have been heavily rumored for roles in the film, are now attached in some capacity.
The news comes to use from MarketSaw, who originally broke the news that Lucasfilm was planning a new trilogy. In their report they note that Ford, Hamill and Fisher are all set, as are Billy Dee Williams, Ian McDiarmid, Anthony Daniels and Warwick Davies. Most of this was already assumed, but it’s still nice to hear another source corroborating it. The most interesting part though is what I mentioned above, and »
- Matt Joseph
Market Saw recently got an update from their 'inside source' at LucasFilm, and now have a couple of new (or old, depending on how you look at it) rumors to share about Star Wars: Episode VII. According to this so-called 'very' reliable source, both previously rumored possible cast additions Benedict Cumberbatch and Gary Oldman, are close to signing on.
Apparently, both actors were up for the same role (despite their obvious age difference). It is not known how the new script by J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan has changed or altered this character, or how it has now been split into two roles.
The source goes on to once again confirm many of the original cast members, news we've heard since the project was first announced nearly a year and a half ago. They claim that Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels and Ian McDiarmid will be announced shortly. »
Art by darthtemoc
Production on Star Wars: Episode VII is on a roll, and today we have an update on casting for the film and the story it will tell. The following news comes from MarketSaw, which has been a reliable source when it comes to Star Wars: Episode VII news. They broke the news that Lucasfilm was going to get started on the new Star Wars trilogy in the first place. The same source that fed them that information as well as several other Star Wars news items is back with some more good news. When it comes to the casting of the film, this is what they revealed,
"Ian McDiarmid, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Warwick Davies, Benedict Cumberbatch and Gary Oldman. I believe Cumberbatch and Oldman were pursued for the same role, but I don't know how that will work out with the script changes, »
- Joey Paur
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