Most people for get that Lucasfilm is a worldwide production studio with outlets and locations all around the planet. Recently, George Lucas’ former company opened a new office building in Singapore, which will be the new location for special effects artists for Lucasfilm, Disney, and Marvel in Southeast Asia. It’s good to see Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm payoff, in terms of expansion and employment.
Lucas and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy made the journey to Singapore to commemorate the opening of the new eight-storey building, which is awesomely shaped and designed as the Sandcrawler from the original Star Wars, and it looks phenomenal. Imagine walking down the street in a busy city, and turning the corner only to see a giant Sandcrawler made out of glass looming in front of you. It’s a clever design and will surely become a destination for Star Wars fans around the world. Kennedy also took the opportunity to expound on the future of the franchise.
The Sandcrawler building is not only the regional location of Lucasfilm Singapore, but also ESPN Asia Pacific. Lucasfilm Singapore was established in 2005 with Revenge of the Sith, and the location oversees the animation for Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Rebels.
While Lucas and Kennedy’s visit was purely to showcase the new building, the Lucasfilm president talked openly about the future of the Star Wars franchise. As we know, Lucasfilm is planning new spinoff movies that will feature new and old characters from the saga. Kennedy explained to The Straits Times:
George [Lucas] was so clear as to how that works. The canon that he created was the Star Wars saga. Right now, episode seven falls within that canon. The spin-off movies, or we may come up with some other way to call those films, they exist within that vast universe that he created.
There is no attempt being made to carry characters (from the standalone films) in and out of the saga episodes. Consequently, from the creative standpoint, it’s a roadmap that George made pretty clear.
It’s going to be interesting to see if Lucasfilm will keep to this model. I’m pretty sure somewhere down the line, we’re going to see spinoff movies that take place between the Episode movies and will be somewhat tied-in. After all, we have stories like The Clone Wars and Rebels that loosely fit in with the prequel trilogy. Once Lucasfilm has exhausted origin movies, they’ll move on to create the pieces that fit in-between the existing saga.
As for Episode VII, there are rumors that Luke Skywalker’s role has expanded since Lawrence Kasdan and J.J. Abrams took over the screenwriting reigns from Michael Arndt. It’s believed that Hamill will have a heavier shooting schedule than originally conceived. It is also rumored that Breaking Bad actor Jesse Plemons is getting close to being cast in the new film as Luke’s son Ben Skywalker, named after his Jedi Master Obi-Wan “Ben” Kenobi.
In terms of the spinoffs, recent rumors indicate that Kasdan is also working on a Boba Fett stand-alone movie with Joe Johnston at the top of the list of possible directors. The story is believed to begin with the death of the clone Jango Fett from Attack of the Clones, with the clone’s killer taking the Mandalorian armor only to become the Boba Fett we know and love from The Empire Strikes Back. See, no one likes the Star Wars prequel trilogy.
At the moment, no actors have been officially cast in the new films, though production on Episode VII is scheduled to begin in a few months at Pinewood Studios in London, England.
Star Wars: Episode VII hits theaters everywhere on December 18, 2015.