Star Wars VII: Return of the Han Solo

That’s right. There’s some pretty solid intel that the one and only Harrison Ford will reprise his role as Han Solo in the upcoming J.J. Abrams-directed Star Wars Episode VII. I’ve discussed my mixed feelings about an Abrams-run continuation of the classic series, but this news gives me A New Hope (har har). There had been rumors of Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher returning to the series, but no one really cares about them much anymore. They peaked with Star Wars, whereas Ford launched a long and impressive career with his iconic role.

Also he is super awesome. Need I say more?

What do you think about this big announcement?

Harrison Ford In ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’? Han Solo Reportedly Attached To New Film
Christopher Rosen @ Huffington Post

Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford

Harrison Ford will apparently play Han Solo in “Star Wars: Episode VII.”

That’s the report from Latino Review reporter Umberto “El Mayimbe” Gonzalez, who went on Fox News Latino to break the news that Ford had signed on to appear in the new “Star Wars” film. According to Gonzalez, the deal is “significant.”

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Star Wars VII to Get a Little J.J. Abrams (Lens) Flair

I’m sure by now you’ve all heard that J.J. Abrams has officially signed on to direct the upcoming Star Wars 7. For me, it has taken several days for this news to sink in, and I have mixed emotions about it. But I finally feel that I have something coherent to say.

130127-abramsFirstly: how the frak does this man get so lucky? Not only has he had a more than respectable run in television, most notably with Lost, then he was handed the blessed conch of Star Trek, and now he’s continuing the gorram Star Wars franchise?? If you ask me, this man made some supernatural deal with the lens flair devil–success and the coolest opportunities in exchange for his soul and no less than fourscore lens flairs in every film.

That being said–oozing with unabashed jealousy, might I add–I have been largely impressed with Abrams’ work thus far. Despite the fact that many hardcore Trek fans expressed disappointment and even outrage at the Star Trek reboot, I personally, very much enjoyed it.

To some extent then, I do have hope for Star Wars: Episode VII, especially because after the complete rubbish Lucas tried to pass off as an adequate prequel trilogy, there’s really nowhere to go but up. In particular, as noted on Axolotl Ceviche, at least Abrams has some handle on how to actually direct, while Lucas, despite his aptitude for pre-CG technical innovation, has been a miserable failure as a director of real people instead of puppets.

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But really, at the core, I think the success or failure of Episode 7 will hinge on the writing. Although Abrams has done his fair share of this, there’s no word as to how much involvement he will have with the actual writing of the script, with rumors that Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3, Little Miss Sunshine, and *gag* Brave) will be heading up the writing department.

The fundamental importance of a good script is exactly what makes me wish that Joss Whedon had been given the job. I may be a bit partial, as, just like the pulchritudinous Jason Segel to my right, Joss Whedon is my master now, but if his massive success with The Avengers has taught us anything, it’s that he knows his shit. I would feel much more comfortable with Star Wars in his hands than any one else’s. Sure he’s been super busy and probably needs a break and taking on the Star Wars franchise would definitely be a super stressful enterprise, but I don’t care. I’m selfish and I want more Jossy goodness.

While Arndt seems mostly competent and Abrams has a decent track record thus far, I’ll remain cautiously skeptical so as not to get my hopes too far up only to be disappointed by Star Wars 7. What are your feelings on the big announcement?

J.J. Abrams Set to Direct Next ‘Star Wars’ Film (Exclusive)
Lucas Shaw @ The Wrap

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Disney on Friday night confirmed TheWrap’s earlier report that J.J. Abrams will direct “Star Wars: Episode VII,” the latest film in the iconic franchise and the first since Disney bought Lucasfilm last October.

“J.J. is the perfect director to helm this,” Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said in a statement. “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.”

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Espenson Brings ‘Once Upon A Time’ to a New Level

I know I talked about Once Upon A Time not that long ago, but after last night’s incredible episode I can’t help but bring it up again, especially to talk about how Jane Espenson‘s writing is this show’s redemption.

First of all, we finally get to learn more about Frankenstein, and Henry actually says something meaningful again, expressing what all of the viewers are thinking: “Frankenstein isn’t in here. It’s not even a fairy tale!” Hopefully the fact that someone in the show finally sees Dr. Whale/Frankenstein’s presence as strange means that this incongruity will soon be explored.

“In the Name of the Brother” seems like a completely different show, rife with witty dialogue and clever quips as opposed to unnatural, awkwardly delivered lines. The entrance of the “outside” world into Storybrooke allowed Espenson to inject her characteristic referential humor into a show that has been bland for quite some time, throwing in a Star Wars ringtone, a joke about posting pictures of food to Twitter, and worries about outsiders wanting to experiment on Storybrooke’s magic inhabitants like in the movies E.T. and Splash.

Not only that, all of the characters seem to have, well, more character in this episode. Mary Margaret’s pluck seen previously in some of her Fairy Tale World exploits is revived, especially in one cheeky aside about the doctor:  “Does anybody else notice that he’s drunk off his ass?” Rumpelstiltskin is also given some particularly biting dialogue, bringing back some of that acerbity that we all so loved in his character in the first season.

Another Espenson staple, no doubt fostered by her time on the Joss Whedon shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly, is the supurb–and superbly funny–ensemble scenes. As I’m sure any of you screenwriters out there know, ensemble scenes are exceedingly difficult to write. You need to have the correct balance of participation among all those present, not leaving any characters by the wayside with little or no presence in the scene, otherwise they might as well not be there at all. But on the other hand, no character should speak unless it is truly in their character to interject at that point.

Both Espenson and Whedon are extremely adept at maintaining this balance, and Espenson definitely displays her skill in last night’s Once. There are far too many examples to list here, and if you haven’t seen the episode yet, I don’t want give away too much and keep you from enjoying it as much as I did. But I’ll just give you one classic example of the quick, sharp group dialogue, as they are trying to figure out where the doctor has gone:

CHARMING
Got the scent?

RED
Boozy.

EMMA
Just find him and bring him back. We’ll watch Hook and figure out options if Whale doesn’t come back.

EMMA
Maybe Doc can do it.

GRUMPY
(uncontrollable laughter)
Surgery?!
(a beat)
No!!

SNOW
Maybe he didn’t even run. Maybe Cora grabbed him for some reason.

CHARMING
I don’t think so. He’s been a rough place since he brought Regina’s fiance back to life.

SNOW
Daniel?

EMMA
Back to life?!

CHARMING
And had his arm ripped off and put back on.

GRUMPY
Cool.

SNOW
Wait, Daniel came back?

EMMA
Like some kind of Frankenstein?

CHARMING
That’s Whale. The Doctor. And Daniel was his…

EMMA
What went on here while we were gone??

CHARMING
(exhausted groan)

A testament to the excellence of this episode is the fact that it was trending worldwide on Twitter as it aired, which apparently was right in the middle of some major sporting event that was taking place. Check it out:

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This review has a great summary of some of the greatest moments in this episode. Thank you, Jane Espenson, for such a delightful hour of television!

Once Upon a Time Review: The World Comes to Storybrooke
Christine Orlando @ TV Fanatic

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Back in the Fairy Tale World… First off, Henry was right. Dr. Frankenstein’s Monster is not a fairy tale. I’ve always considered it more of a horror story. I know some will disagree, but I’ve never been thrilled that they’ve incorporated this story into the show.

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