Star Wars: Episode VII Officially Starts Filming

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Star Wars: Episode VIIYesterday cameras officially started rolling on J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII. The action began at Pinewood Studios in London, England, and to commemorate the occasion, there are now a couple of pictures from the location. They’re not the most exciting things in the world, but that’s not really the news, the news is that PRODUCTION HAS FINALLY STARTED ON EPISODE VII!

This is the day we’ve been waiting for since October 30, 2012, when it came out that Disney bought Lucasfilm from George Lucas for billions and billions of dollars. That was when they first dropped the bomb that there were more Star Wars films on the way, and since that day, we’ve all been obsessed with every last casting rumor, potential plot detail, or possible location. While that’s been fun, it’s nice to know they were planning to make an actual movie at some point.


Star Wars Bionic Arm Approved

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lukeDespite all the recent breakthroughs in prosthetics technology, I can’t say I’m one of those people who would elect to amputate a limb in order to receive a stronger cybernetic one (although exoskeletons are a nifty solution, as they allow people to keep their natural limbs but add strength-enhancing technology when they want). Still, I can’t help but wonder how many people would consider opting for a bionic arm modeled on the one Luke Skywalker receives after Darth Vader sends his hand flying.

The FDA recently approved the DEKA arm, the first prosthetic arm able to perform movements controlled by electrical signals emitted by muscles near the device. The arm system contains EMG (electromyogram) electrodes that send electrical signals from the muscles to a processor that converts them into as many as 10 different and simultaneous movements. A 2012 study also demonstrated the ability for wearers to use neural implants to control the device via their brains. One of the studies submitted to the FDA involved 36 veterans who were outfitted with the arms, 90% of whom experienced abilities beyond those of their current prostheses.


Star Wars: Episode VII: Adam Driver Could Play Han And Leia’s Son

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Adam DriverCollectively, we spent so much time speculating about who the cast members of J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII would be that it seemed like that was the end game all along. But, of course, there’s still an actual movie to make. Principal photography is scheduled to begin this week in Abu Dhabi, and now that things are getting rolling on that front, the wonder and conjecture has moved from who will be in the film to what roles the actors will play. One new rumor hints at the part of new addition Adam Driver may be different than we initially thought: he could play Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princes Leia’s (Carrie Fisher) son.

For months, the Girls star was continually linked to Episode VII, so when Disney and Lucasfilm made his participation official, he wasn’t one of the more shocking names on the list. The rumor was that he would play a new villain. He’s a unique looking individual, and the idea of him playing a Sith Lord, or something similar, sounded very plausible. With other reports circulating that Max Von Sydow would also be a villain—the working title The Ancient Fear is supposedly in reference to his character—many people suspected that those two would have a master/apprentice kind of thing going on. If this new information from Jedi News is correct, however, that may not be the case.


Star Wars: Episode VII Will Begin Filming This Tuesday In Abu Dhabi

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TatooineNow that we finally have official word about the cast of J.J. AbramsStar Wars: Episode VII, it looks like the production is kicking into gear. We have faces, many of them still without characters as far as we’re concerned, and it appears that some of them are finally going to be committed to film. We even mean actual film, not the metaphorical kind, because they’re not going to shoot digital. And this is all going to happen soon, as the film is scheduled to begin production in earnest this week.

We’ve heard that Episode VII would film in Abu Dhabi, presumably as a stand in for Tatooine, the home world of Luke and Anakin Skywalker, Jabba the Hutt, and the Jawas. English-language newspaper The National reports that Disney and Lucasfilm have set up shop in the desert portion of the capital of the United Arab Emirates. The production has been in the process of building some massive scale sets on location, and according to the report, principal photography is slated to begin on Tuesday, as in this Tuesday, May 13, and run through at least the end of the month.


Han Solo Will Be A Co-Lead In Star Wars: Episode VII

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Han SoloEven before Disney and Lucasfilm officially announced the cast of the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII, most of us expected that the big three from the original trilogy—Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), and Han Solo (Harrison Ford)—would be back for more adventures in a galaxy far, far away. We heard rumblings and rumors to that effect, and just days before the studios confirmed the return, all three were reported to be in London, where the bulk of the filming is scheduled to go down. None of us were terribly shocked with that part of the casting announcement, but what we were curious about was how big a role that they will play, and now we may have at least a partial answer.

Entertainment Weekly reports that while all three will play “significant” parts in the continuing action, Han Solo will have a big enough role that he is being considered a co-lead. When J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan took over the writing duties from Michael Arndt—this is one of the reasons why production was delayed—reports were that one of the things they changed was to beef up the role of the original stars, which has also now been confirmed. With Han’s natural leadership skills and charisma, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him in the thick of whatever drama is going on 30 years after Return of the Jedi.


Attack Of The Clones Finally Gets The Honest Trailer It Deserves

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We’ve all walked out of the theater scratching our heads, thinking that what we just witnessed was completely different movie than the one the marketing sold us. You turn to look at your movie going companions with at what-the-hell-was-that look on your face and remind yourself that advertising is total bullshit. When we here at GFR take over the world, which realistically should be any day now, the only previews you’ll see for any movie will be Screen Junkies’ Honest Trailers. Until then we’ll just have to satisfy ourselves on their sporadic offerings, including this one for a movie that continues to leave a lingering bad taste in our collective mouth: Star Wars: Episode II—Attack of the Clones.

It’s been a while since I watched Attack of the Clones. I saw it in the theater, gave it another chance on video, and then spent more than a decade blocking it out of my mind. However, thanks to this video, all those painful memories came rushing back. To be honest, after The Phantom Menace, not to mention the “special editions,” many of us were braced for the worst. We hoped Episode I was an aberration, but George Lucas still managed to drop a giant deuce on our fond childhood memories. This video reminds you of that right out of the gate.