George Lucas

July 09, 2013 | 2:27 p.m.

George Lucas: ‘Star Wars’ stood on the shoulders of ‘Star Trek’

The documentary “Trek Nation” chronicles Rod Roddenberry’s personal journey to explore the importance of the legendary sci-fi franchise dreamed up by his father Gene. The film comes to DVD on Tuesday, and among the bonus materials included in the release is an interview with “Star Wars” creator George Lucas talking about the important role “Star Trek” played in paving the way for his own space opera. “‘Star Trek’ softened up the entertainment arena so that ‘Star Wars’ could come along and stand on its shoulders,” Lucas said in an interview — Hero Complex readers can check out a clip from the conversation above. A number of other genre luminaries, Stan Lee and J.J. Abrams among them, speak on camera about the legacy of “Star Trek” on the double disc DVD, which also includes home movies from the Roddenberry estate and […]
May 04, 2013 | 9:08 a.m.

May the fourth be with you: ‘Star Wars’ writer Simon Kinberg talks spinoff films

'Star Wars' (featured image)
“Star Wars” fans have dubbed May 4 as “‘Star Wars’ Day” (as in “May the fourth be with you…”), and Hero Complex is celebrating with a look to the future of pop culture’s favorite space saga. Disney announced last month it will release a new “Star Wars” film every year beginning in 2015 with “Episode VII,” the first installment in a planned trilogy. In between those movies, Disney is releasing two standalone “Star Wars” films not part of the overall saga, penned by Simon Kinberg and “The Empire Strikes Back” scribe Lawrence Kasdan. “I’m trying to start fresh,” Kasdan told Hero Complex in February. “There are certain pleasures that we think the saga can bring to people that they’ve been missing, and we’re hoping to bring them that, and at the same time, have them feel that it’s all new.” […]
April 17, 2013 | 12:00 p.m.

‘Star Wars’ actor Richard LeParmentier, 66, dies

Actor Richard LeParmentier, who as a young Death Star commander learned the hard way that Darth Vader brooks no disrespect, died Tuesday. He was 66. (AP Photo/Coolwaters Prods.)
Richard LeParmentier, who played Admiral Motti in “Star Wars,” died Tuesday. He was 66. The Pittsburgh-born character actor appeared in more than 50 films and television shows, including Norman Jewison’s 1975 film “Rollerball,” Warren Beatty’s 1981 drama “Reds,” the 1983 James Bond movie “Octopussy” and Richard Lester’s 1980 superhero sequel “Superman II,” in which he played a reporter. But it was his turn in George Lucas’ landmark space opera that perhaps was his greatest claim to fame. In one of the many memorable scenes aboard the Death Star, Motti takes a haughty tone with Darth Vader, suggesting he not try to frighten the commanders with his “sorcerer’s ways.” He then launches into a derisive speech criticizing Vader’s inability to conjure up the stolen data tapes with the plans for the space station or the location of the rebels’ secret stronghold. […]
April 11, 2013 | 12:04 p.m.

‘Star Wars': Watch Harrison Ford evasively respond to queries

Harrison Ford is expected to return as Han Solo in the next "Star Wars" movie. (Olivier Douliery / Abaca Press / MCT)
Harrison Ford is out on the promotion trail, talking up his role in the new Jackie Robinson baseball movie “42.” But what everyone really wants to discuss is his possible return as Han Solo in the new “Star Wars” movie. Everyone except Harrison Ford, that is. The star, who’s reportedly set to reprise his landmark role as the heroic cad, either doesn’t know much about his participation in “Episode VII” at this early date or he’s not allowed to share details. In any case, he’s opted to deflect “Star Wars” questions not with polite demurrals or stone-faced silence, but rather a grandfatherly sense of befuddlement. Witness how Ford handled David Letterman on Wednesday. Letterman, who uses confusion himself in order to draw answers out of his guests, met his match in Ford when the subject of “Star Wars” was raised. […]
March 07, 2013 | 9:45 a.m.

Luke, Han, Leia: ‘Star Wars’ trio (almost) sure to return in ‘VII’

Harrison Ford as Han Solo, Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia, and Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in a scene from 1977's "Star Wars." (20th Century Fox)
Carrie Fisher has said “yes,” she will reprise her role as Princess Leia in “Episode VII” of the “Star Wars” franchise. Now, George Lucas says that, months ago, Fisher, Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford were in “final negotiations” to return. They’d “already signed,” he told Bloomberg in an article published Thursday, or were “pretty much in final stages” of negotiations. Then, Lucas stopped short, seeming to fear he’d spoiled the surprise. There’s probably a plan to break the news with “some big whoop-de-do,” he said. Fisher hasn’t been shy with the news, though. “Yes,” she told Palm Beach Illustrated, she will reprise her role. When asked what Princess Leia is like today, she replied with a laugh that she’s in an “intergalactic old folks’ home.” In late January, as reported in Hero Complex, news broke that J.J. Abrams was set […]
Feb. 07, 2013 | 1:47 p.m.

‘Star Wars': Stuart Freeborn, the makeup artist behind Yoda, dies

The Yoda puppet used in "Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi." (Stephen Osman / Los Angeles Times)
Legendary Hollywood makeup man Stuart Freeborn, who created some of the most memorable characters ever in science fiction including Yoda in the “Star Wars” films and the ape men of Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey,” has died at the age of 98. Freeborn’s daughter, Michelle, told the Associated Press that the legendary makeup man died in London from a combination of ailments due to his age. In a statement, “Star Wars” creator George Lucas said, “Stuart was already a makeup legend when he started on ‘Star Wars.’ He brought with him not only decades of experience, but boundless creative energy. His artistry and craftsmanship will live on forever in the characters he created. His ‘Star Wars’ creatures may be reinterpreted in new forms by new generations, but at their heart, they continue to be what Stuart created for the […]
Jan. 28, 2013 | 6:32 p.m.

‘Star Wars': 3-D prequels postponed to make way for ‘Episode VII’

Yoda, Obi–Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and Senator Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits) in the movie Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith. Lucasfilm Ltd.
The Millennium Falcon is changing course. Now that “Star Wars” has a new studio home, a new movie in the works and a new director, other adjustments are in store for the franchise: Lucasfilm is postponing this fall’s scheduled 3-D re-release of “Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of The Clones” and “Episode III — Revenge of the Sith.” “Given the recent development that we are moving forward with a new ‘Star Wars’ trilogy we will now focus 100% of our efforts on ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ in order to ensure the best possible experience for our fans,” Lucasfilm said in a statement. “We will post further information about our 3D release plans at a later date.” The changed plans don’t come as a huge surprise — last year’s 3-D re-release of “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace” grossed […]
Jan. 26, 2013 | 12:02 a.m.

J.J. Abrams and ‘Star Wars': Disney confirms directing gig

The news might have broken Thursday afternoon that J.J. Abrams would direct the latest installment of the “Star Wars” movie franchise, but Disney and Lucasfilm finally confirmed his selection late on Friday. “It’s very exciting to have J.J. aboard leading the charge as we set off to make a new ‘Star Wars’ movie,” Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy said in a statement issued late in the day. “J.J. is the perfect director to helm this. Beyond having such great instincts as a filmmaker, he has an intuitive understanding of this franchise. He understands the essence of the ‘Star Wars’ experience, and will bring that talent to create an unforgettable motion picture.” George Lucas went on to say in a release, “I’ve consistently been impressed with J.J. as a filmmaker and storyteller. He’s an ideal choice to direct the new ‘Star Wars’ […]
Jan. 24, 2013 | 2:04 p.m.

J.J. Abrams set to direct ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’

J.J. Abrams (featured image)
J.J. Abrams is set to direct “Episode VII.” Sources have confirmed the “Star Trek Into Darkness” filmmaker will helm the next “Star Wars” movie, the highly anticipated installment in the landmark franchise scheduled to reach theaters in 2015. PHOTOS: ‘Star Wars’ at the box office [Updated: 10:30 a.m. Jan. 25]: The news first broke on The Wrap website Thursday afternoon. Abrams, who previously had denied that he would be involved with the project, is now in a position of creative control over the two most beloved franchises in the science-fiction universe: “Star Wars” and “Star Trek.” Abrams rebooted “Star Trek” for the big screen in 2009 to much acclaim and rousing boxoffice receipts, with the film collecting upwards of $385 million. His follow-up, “Star Trek Into Darkness,” is due in theaters May 17. His decision to direct a “Star Wars” […]
Jan. 15, 2013 | 1:51 p.m.

‘Star Wars’ director watch: Zack Snyder’s out, who’s in?

Another day, another mystery about a director possibly signing on to be a part of the “Star Wars” universe. New York Magazine’s Vulture blog first reported that Zack Snyder had plans to make a “Seven Samurai”-inspired story set in a galaxy far, far away, but hours later, Snyder’s rep contradicted the story in The Hollywood Reporter, saying that the “Man of Steel” filmmaker had no such plans to develop a stand-alone Jedi epic for Lucasfilm loosely inspired by Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 classic. “While he is super-flattered because he is a huge fan, Zack is not involved in any way with the new ‘Star Wars,'” his rep told The Hollywood Reporter. “He is currently in post on his two films, ‘Man of Steel’ and ‘300: Battle of Artemisia.'” Vulture, however, has posted an update to its original story, stating that despite […]
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