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It's officially happening. On August 1, 2018, the as-yet-untitled Star Wars: Episode IX will begin filming at London’s Pinewood Studios. J.J. Abrams has returned to direct the final installment of the Skywalker Saga from a screenplay that he co-wrote with Chris Terrio. The official news hit the inbox here at Rock Father HQ just moments ago, and the list of new and returning cast members is both expected and surprising. See all the details below!
Lucasfilm's Star Wars: Episode IX should start filming later this summer, and one new addition to the cast just might be an old collaborator for Writer/Director J.J. Abrams. Variety broke the news that Keri Russell, who famously worked with Abrams as the title character on Felicity, will join the final chapter in the Sequel Trilogy in an "action-heavy" role. According to the trade, Lucasfilm and Abrams met with several actresses for this role over the past few months, eventually locking in Russell right before the 4th of July.
This is exactly the news I was hoping for. After re-launching STAR WARS with the start of a sequel trilogy that began with his 2015 film, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, J.J. Abrams is returning to close-out the trilogy. This morning it was announced by Lucasfilm that Abrams is on-board to write and direct the currently-untitled STAR WARS: EPISODE IX.
When the original STAR WARS Saga (aka "The Old Trilogy") first rolled out between 1977 and 1983, it was a great time to be a kid, though one that seems archaic by modern standards. Back then, viewing STAR WARS was an experience that was reserved as a cinema-only event... unless you were among a very select few that were lucky enough to have an RCA SelectaVision player (video disks that were encased in a square plastic cartridge), or one of the early VHS machines. Even then, you couldn't watch 1977's STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE at home until the latter half of 1982. For our family, it was when HBO scored the rights to STAR WARS in 1983 that we'd get to see it at home on the small, square, screen. In fact, I distinctly remember eating Aurelio's Pizza while watching the film, the brightly-colored wicker paper plate holders still fresh in my mind. For us, the STAR WARS adventures were brought to life and continued daily through Kenner's STAR WARS collection of action figures, playsets and vehicles, with the films essentially recalled from memory. Being there the first time around, it's astounding to think that families in 2016 were able to enjoy J.J. Abrams' STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS at home... a mere four months after its theatrical debut. But like their parents before them, our girls are creating their own STAR WARS adventures daily with Hasbro's extensive collection of STAR WARS toys, and to celebrate the in-home release of THE FORCE AWAKENS earlier this month, our friends at Hasbro sent a box of goodies so we could have a slightly belated premiere party right here at Rock Father HQ. And we did it with pizza... just like back in '83!
There have been rumors and leaks in recent days, but now the news that so many have been waiting for has arrived - STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS will be available to own early on Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere on April 1, four days before it comes home on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on April 5 (pre-order now). Announced this morning by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert A. Iger at The Walt Disney Company’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders, THE FORCE AWAKENS will arrive packed with bonus features, along with an extensive documentary about the making of the film. How can I get goosebumps again just by watching the in-home trailer? See it and all the specs below...
STAR WARS fans, our time is now. Today, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS became the highest grossing film of all time in the domestic market, surpassing the $760.5M lifetime gross of James Cameron's AVATAR in just 20 days of release hitting the mark nearly 300 days quicker than AVATAR back in 2009. In addition, the film crossed the $800M mark at the international box office today, in a move I like to envision being akin to THE FIRST ORDER positioning Starkiller Base to blast Pandora and the Na'vi. As one of the 25 #StarWarsEvent bloggers, being but a tiny piece of this film's success is something I will forever cherish having been a part of...