Weekly Recap #20: January 4th, 2016

It’s 2016, Star Wars fans, and we’re back to bring you the past week’s news and spoilers from around the web. There’s now 346 days until Rogue One. Let’s keep this one short and sweet and get right into it.

1. EW ran a new article with newly released photos of Snoke and Maz Kanata. Here are a couple, but head to the article for more!

davestrrr: This is the first time that I’ve seen a picture of the “real” Snoke online, so this is pretty cool. I think it’s a great design and I can’t wait to see more of this character. I can only hope that VIII will bring us some scenes with him in person. One can only hope that we’ll get some hints of his backstory too. I gotta say, my first viewing the CGI/mocap effect of Maz didn’t work here and there. I was taken out of the moment in the early scenes. However, it was when she took off her glasses that did it. It gave her another layer of realism to me, and at the same time a fresh perspective on her. On my second viewing she looked better and now, I think Maz came of “real” and it really worked for me in the movie. Seeing this Hi-res shot (above) makes me recall how real she looked.

mazlow01: I want to know his backstory! What if the reason Luke wasn’t at his academy was he was putting the beat down on Snoke, that’s where his scar came from? What if he was friendly to the New Jedi until he betrayed them? Side note: The new “Anthology” films what if they fill in spaces from our new characters. Like Rogue One gives us info on Lor San Tekka and Han Solo one introduces us to more Maz?

2. Star Wars News Net posted a new article on the photographs from the set of The Force Awakens, from Directory of Photography, Dan Mindel.

image credit: Lucasfilm, Dan Mindel, and SWNN

davestrrr: This is really cool to see. It’s amzing what they can do with soundstages in terms of setting up environments. I totally thought this was really outdoors! Great shot.

mazlow01: Ok so cool that it was filmed on a soundstage and I would have never suspected.

3.  Gizmodo did a pretty cool piece discussing concepts that didn’t make the film. Some of these were interesting, like the idea that Michael Arnt wanted Kylo Ren to wield a double-bladed light saber with one red and one blue blade.

davestrrr: I’m glad we didn’t do the double bladed lightsaber in TFA. I think we saw that enough in TPM. I was cool when Maul rocked it in the 90s, but now we need something a little fresh, and Kylo’s saber was it. The instability, and the cross-guards worked. The instability reflected his conflict to me, and was also a fresh design. The cross-guards also proved their worth in the movie, and were the start of Finn’s undoing in his fight at the end. I didn’t understand the controversy there. Now that the movie is out, I think those side-blades proved themselves. The other thing what struck me as cool here was Vader’s castle. I never even imagined that such a thing existed. I just assumed he always lived in his quarters on the Star Destroyer. I hope they revisit this idea in VIII or heck, it could even make sense in Rogue One.

mazlow01: This would have shown his internal struggle even more… I kinda don’t like it as its too much beating over the head. I wish they had used warhammer or a version of it. I also like the space pirates idea instead of the rathtars scene.

4. Making Star Wars reports that they’ve built sets for the Skellig Michael scenes at Pine Wood Studios, and provides the following quote:

The Skellig Michael sets have been built and in some cases recreated at Pinewood. The location of the set at Pinewood is the same place they filmed the Jakku village scenes for The Force Awakens. Filming at Skellig Michael was just too complicated for environmental reasons. Migrating birds have more power than any corporation over that isle.

davestrrr: To me this says we’ll have lots more on that island, but we won’t be able to rely on trips to the actual Skellig Michael island as an indicator of how many scenes we’ll have. Before, when the crew went out to do on location shots there, it was all over the news, and people correctly got the sense that these scenes might be relatively short. Now that so much of it will be behind closed doors, it’s harder to know. That being said, if these scenes are Rey in training and learning about the Force, then it could be really cool. Definitely hoping for some more “metaphysical” stuff like when Yoda talked about the Force in ESB.

mazlow01:  I agree with you Dave. The shots on Skellig are so much trouble I don’tthink they have any other option than building sets to show us more of Rey training. This means more Luke which I like. Luke’s my fav old school character.