Star Wars Anthology Series (the Standalone Movies)

Mr. JabbaJohnL

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Much as the standalone movies will be spun off from the main saga, I've decided to spin off threads about the spinoff movies from the main Episode VII thread as they're now getting more coverage.

What we know so far: the first standalone will be released on December 16, 2016 and directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla). Gary Whitta wrote the first draft of the screenplay and now Chris Weitz is working on it. The second standalone, presumably scheduled for 2018, will be directed by Josh Trank (Chronicle, Fantastic Four). When the films were announced, Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg were named as writers, but after Kasdan moved to The Force Awakens, his name was not brought up in any further news about the standalones.

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Gary Whitta announced on Twitter that has completed his work on director Gareth Edwards' 2016 spinoff movie. Other sources say that he completed the first draft, is leaving on good terms, and another writer may work on finishing the script.

He is a big OT fan and he seemed very enthusiastic about working on the film, but his horrible track record of scriptwriting and his negative comments about SW prior to getting the job always rubbed me the wrong way.

When the spinoff films were announced, it was said that Lawrence Kasdan would be writing one and Simon Kinberg writing another. Then, Kasdan moved onto Episode VII full-time once Michael Arndt left the project, and Whitta was announced as the spinoff writer, so maybe Kasdan will return to the spinoff he was originally attached to and give it the same polishing job he and Abrams gave Episode VII? My money is on Kinberg writing the movie directed by Josh Trank, since they worked together on Fantastic Four, but that has not yet been confirmed.
 

Mr. JabbaJohnL

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So apparently Whitta has been replaced by Chris Weitz, according to the Hollywood Reporter. His track record isn't quite as stupendously awful as Whitta's, but it is something of a head-scratcher full of comedies and sub-par fantasy: he's written for Antz, Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, About A Boy, The Golden Compass, and directed The Golden Compass, the second Twilight movie, and co-directed About A Boy and Down To Earth, a Chris Rock comedy that I completely forgot about. He's also the screenwriter of Disney's upcoming live-action Cinderella, which is presumably the main reason he got this job. If they're trying to stick to the same schedule they used for The Force Awakens, they'll start principal photography in May, so I wonder how different Whitta's and Weitz's drafts will be.
 

Mr. JabbaJohnL

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There are many rumors about the cast of the standalones, and The Hollywood Reporter is now saying that Felicity Jones will be the lead. They've been correct so far, so while LFL has not confirmed anything, it's probably pretty official. This goes against most rumor sites' stories that Tatiana Maslany of Orphan Black would be in it.

I haven't seen Jones in anything, but she's up for an Academy Award for that Stephen Hawking biopic.
 

JediTricks

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Let me just say that the news of late on these isn't inspiring the confidence that a Marvel movie decision would, and that leaves me with a great many concerns. Chris Weitz is an astonishingly bizarre choice for writing with that track record - he doesn't have Disney ties, he doesn't have a tremendous amount of experience in the field, and The Golden Compass aspect is one that suggests a callous business decision at play here since the film flopped in the US but brought in a significant return overseas.

As for Felicity Jones, I have nothing to say there as I cannot imagine what they are going for, but the fact that they're aiming for a mere year away out of the main film series is not encouraging just based on a lack of time alone.
 

Mr. JabbaJohnL

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Let me just say that the news of late on these isn't inspiring the confidence that a Marvel movie decision would, and that leaves me with a great many concerns. Chris Weitz is an astonishingly bizarre choice for writing with that track record - he doesn't have Disney ties, he doesn't have a tremendous amount of experience in the field, and The Golden Compass aspect is one that suggests a callous business decision at play here since the film flopped in the US but brought in a significant return overseas.

As for Felicity Jones, I have nothing to say there as I cannot imagine what they are going for, but the fact that they're aiming for a mere year away out of the main film series is not encouraging just based on a lack of time alone.
I was really not a fan of The Golden Compass movie. I had read the book and enjoyed it, but something about it was lost in translation—I don't even remember what, since I gave up on that series after seeing the disappointing movie and quitting halfway through the incredibly boring second book. Chris Weitz actually does have Disney ties in the form of the upcoming Cinderella; it's coming out next month, so I assume that the folks who hired him were pleased with the job he did in writing that film.

None of the announcements have me particularly excited, either. I didn't really like Gareth Edwards' Godzilla, and I abhorred Gary Whitta's After Earth. I haven't seen anything from Josh Trank, but Simon Kinberg is a good choice based on his work on Rebels and the X-Men series.

However, I don't think the time crunch will actually be that big of a problem. Since the first spinoff is coming on December 16, 2016, they'd need to start filming around May to match TFA's production schedule, which is what it seems like they're doing. If Marvel can churn out several high-quality films each year, I don't think it will be a problem for LFL to get these out annually.
 

Bel-Cam Jos

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If Marvel can churn out several high-quality films each year, I don't think it will be a problem for LFL to get these out annually.
Some of the draw, at least for me, was that SW didn't come out too quickly. You had to wait, and that waiting made for good anticipation. I believe the phrase "there is never such thing as too much" is illegal to say in the Disney galaxy. THAT has always been my main fear with the takeover.
 

JediTricks

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If Marvel can churn out several high-quality films each year, I don't think it will be a problem for LFL to get these out annually.
I dunno how good a parallel that is, the first Marvel movie was Iron Man 2008 and went terrific, but the next one was the same year and struggled, The Incredible Hulk. After that, they didn't come out with a movie for 2 more years, Iron Man 2, followed a year later by Thor, and both movies had storytelling problems. So Marvel at first couldn't churn out several high-quality films each year, it took a ramp-up period of figuring out the voice and vision they were trying to get at. Plus, a lot of the Marvel movies weren't just picked out of the ether, most had credibility and credits to back up the choice.

Add all that to the knowledge that this current iteration of Lucasfilm hasn't made a single movie EVER, hasn't produced one thing outside of Star Wars Rebels whatsoever, and the company itself arguably hasn't produced a good film in 26 years, and I don't think you can make any strong comparisons to Marvel at all aside from parent companies.
 

bigbarada

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What the Star Wars universe really needs is a standalone Greedo movie (all the dialog would be in an alien language, even the subtitles). Followed by a trilogy of films about Bossk's struggles in a hairy, warm-blooded, mammal dominated galaxy.

I'd watch those movies… okay, I'd watch the Bossk movies. The Greedo movie would suck big-time, but it still needs to be made... with a 3.5 hour running time and a minimum budget of $500 million. With top of the line CGI, except for Greedo, who would still be portrayed by a lady in an inarticulate rubber mask and high heels.

That's box office gold right there.
 

Tycho

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After the masterpiece that was the creation of JarJar, I think the OT aliens need to paid some respect with an Ugnaught starring story.

This character's special effects could include burping and farting like those that made JarJar special to us. However, new to the exploration of the Ugnaught species (well, not new since they did it for ESB) would be snorting noises.

But it would be more of them. Like ESB with more snorting noises.
 

El Chuxter

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You know what would be cool, and I'm absolutely not kidding?

A standalone Jar Jar Binks movie that's done as an in-universe comedy. Most importantly, it has to be funny. Really, really funny. "Redeem the character" funny.
 

JediTricks

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Jar Jar isn't a "funny" character, his humor is entirely derived from robbing him of dignity, making him stupid, and having his actions goofy and silly as he's being robbed of dignity in a way that doesn't fit a single other character in the entire cinematic saga, handily stealing that from the previous holder being Wicket. To make a Jar Jar comedy wouldn't speak well of the saga unless you entirely changed the character's focus, and then you're not being honest.
 

Bel-Cam Jos

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You know what would be cool, and I'm absolutely not kidding?

A standalone Jar Jar Binks movie that's done as an in-universe comedy, like Guardians of the Galaxy. Most importantly, it has to be funny. Really, really funny. "Redeem the character" funny. Make more than $700M worldwide funny.
I get it now. Wicket or Paploo could TOTALLY pull off Rocket Raccoon. And, and if you wait until after the credits, there'd be like a funny scene! With Mace Windu in it, or something. Yeah!
 

El Chuxter

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Who's to say Jar Jar wasn't funnier after ROTS? We know absolutely nothing about him following his appearance in that movie. :D
 

Bel-Cam Jos

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Who's to say Jar Jar wasn't funnier after ROTS? We know absolutely nothing about him following his appearance in that movie. :D
Actually, he turned to "monotone comedy," delivering one-liners in a Gungan version of Steven Wright:

"Meesa got a full-body tattoo of meesa, only mooie bigger."
"Meesa put a skylight in meesa apart-ament de udder day. Da bosses livin above no liken dat."
 

JediTricks

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The title for the first stand-alone film, "Rogue One", along with news of its release date of December 2016, and its writer Chris Weitz (Cinderella, About a Boy, Antz), director Gareth Edwards (Monsters, Godzilla), and many producers including John Knoll (who came up with the idea for the film), Simon Emanuel (The Dark Knight Rises, Fast & Furious 6), Jason McGatlin (Tintin, War of the Worlds), Kathleen Kennedy, Tony To (Band of Brothers, The Pacific), and John Swartz (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) has been released. Yes, I put that all in one sentence on purpose.
http://www.starwars.com/news/rogue-one-is-the-first-star-wars-stand-alone-film-rian-johnson-to-write-and-direct-star-wars-episode-viii

Nothing about this seems good to me. The release date is too soon, the writer, director, and producers all seem generic. I'm probably in the minority about caring at all of those things.
 

Mr. JabbaJohnL

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We've known most of this information for a little while—the article only confirms Jones' involvement and adds the info about the producers and the title.

The title makes it sound a little like something from the Hunger Games or Divergent series. I can't imagine it NOT being a reference to X-wings and Rogue Squadron, so either the rumors about Boba, Han, and a heist to steal the Death Star plans were just wrong or maybe they'll still be involved.

If it IS about X-wing pilots, which would be awesome, it could take place in a number of eras. Would they show the foundation of Rogue Squadron? Rebels will include at least A-wing pilots next season, so the movie probably won't have to do with the foundation of the Rebel Alliance. Maybe it will show the formation of Rogue Squadron after the Battle of Yavin. It would be easiest to reuse the props and vehicles they already have made for TFA, so perhaps it will take place either before or after the film. Who knows!
 

mtriv73

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Actually, he turned to "monotone comedy," delivering one-liners in a Gungan version of Steven Wright:

"Meesa got a full-body tattoo of meesa, only mooie bigger."
"Meesa put a skylight in meesa apart-ament de udder day. Da bosses livin above no liken dat."
That absolutely made my day. Thanks BCJ.