The Dark Side Prequel Rumors

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Wednesday, October 15, 1997

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 14, 1997--Galoob Toys, Inc. (NYSE:GAL) today announced that it has entered into an exclusive, worldwide license with Lucas Licensing Ltd. to make small-scale figures, vehicles, playsets and accessories for the next three Star Wars movies.

Building on a relationship that began in 1992 with the highly successful introduction of Star Wars Micro Machines, this Star Wars license will last well into the next decade. In addition, Galoob's current rights to market toys based on the original Star Wars trilogy have been included in the new license.

In a separate agreement Galoob has also acquired long-term preferential negotiating rights from Lucasfilm Ltd. for the same categories of toys based on new Lucasfilm movies.

"Star Wars is the great long-term growth opportunity in boys' action toys for years to come," said Mark Goldman, president and CEO of Galoob Toys, Inc., "and it is extraordinary for a company of Galoob's size to be given an opportunity so large. These arrangements fundamentally change Galoob, creating a stability and an assured access to growth previously unavailable to us."

"Galoob has shown outstanding creativity and an extraordinary ability in this toy category," said Gordon Radley, president of Lucasfilm Ltd. "Our long-term commitment to Galoob in this toy category represents a very large investment in Galoob's exciting future, and we look forward to the opportunity of working with Galoob not only on Star Wars but on other Lucasfilm movies."

In consideration of these agreements Galoob has granted the Lucas companies warrants for slightly less than 20% of Galoob's issued and outstanding common stock, equal to approximately 3.6 million shares as of the closing date, at an exercise price of $15 per share. The new Star Wars agreement also calls for advance payments against future royalties of $140 million payable as the three new films are released.

"Galoob's leadership in small-scale toys is undisputed," said Howard Roffman, vice president of Lucas Licensing Ltd. "We are looking forward to working with Galoob on the new Star Wars films to bring the magic of Star Wars to a new generation of children around the world."

"Star Wars is the most successful film-based merchandising program in history," said Gary Niles, Galoob's executive vice president, marketing. "With the highly anticipated new Star Wars films, we expect growth of a magnitude greater than ever experienced in our company's history."

The cornerstones of the Star Wars licensing program have been the categories of basic toys and games, small-scale toys, which are the subject of the new agreement with Galoob, video and computer games, and a broad-based book and comic publishing program. Galoob Toys, Inc. designs, develops, markets and sells high quality toys worldwide. For more information about the Company and its products, visit Galoob's World Wide Web site at http://www.galoob.com .

Lucasfilm Ltd. is one of the leading film and entertainment companies in the world. Lucasfilm Ltd.'s businesses include George Lucas' film and television production and distribution activities as well as the business activities of the THX Group. Lucasfilm's feature films have won 17 Oscars and received 56 Academy Award nominations, and its television projects have won 12 Emmy Awards.

The Lucas group of companies also include LucasArts Entertainment Company, Lucas Digital Ltd., and Lucas Licensing Ltd. LucasArts Entertainment Company is a leading international developer and publisher of entertainment software, whose games have won critical acclaim with more than 100 industry awards for excellence. Lucas Digital Ltd., which consists of Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) and Skywalker Sound, services the digital needs of the entertainment industry for visual effects and audio post-production. ILM has won 14 Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects and 12 Technical Achievement Awards. Skywalker Sound has been honored with 10 Academy Awards. Lucas Licensing Ltd. is responsible for the licensing of all of Lucasfilm's film and television properties.

CONTACT: Galoob Toys, Inc., Roger Kowalsky, 415/952-1678 ext. 2282 or Lucasfilm Ltd., Jeanne Cole, 415/662-1962. (Source: Shadow Blade)

PAWTUCKET, R.I.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 14, 1997--Hasbro Inc. (AMEX:HAS) announced today that it has been granted the exclusive right to make certain Star Wars toys and games well into the next century for the three new Star Wars movies.

The agreement with Lucas Licensing Ltd. continues to give Hasbro worldwide rights to core action figures, vehicles and games, plus additional Star Wars categories -- including electronic hand-held games, die cast vehicles and creative play products. This deal takes the highly successful relationship to an even higher level. Indeed, 20 years after the release of the original Star Wars film, Star Wars toys are still the leading boys brand at retail.

In a separate agreement, Hasbro has also acquired long term preferential negotiation rights from Lucasfilm Ltd. for the same categories of toys based on new Lucasfilm movies.

"This is a major triumph for Hasbro," said Alan G. Hassenfeld, chairman and chief executive officer. "We know the power of the Force,' and this agreement gives Hasbro the wonderful opportunity to develop the Star Wars brand over a broad range of categories well into the next millennium. We expect our Star Wars line to be at the top of the sales charts for many years to come. This new arrangement allows us to build and expand upon a successful and special relationship that has spanned more than 20 years," Hassenfeld added.

"Hasbro's proven creativity, passion for Star Wars and its worldwide marketing expertise made them the compelling choice to be our key strategic partner in the toy and game arena," said Gordon Radley, president of Lucasfilm Ltd., "and we are pleased to extend and expand this alliance."

"Taking our relationship with Hasbro into new toy and game categories gives us an unprecedented opportunity to bring even greater quality and innovation to the Star Wars brand," said Howard Roffman, vice president of Lucas Licensing Ltd.

The first of the three new Star Wars films has just completed the first phase of principal photography and is expected to be released in May, 1999.

Hasbro Inc. is a worldwide leader in the design, manufacture, and marketing of toys, games, interactive software, puzzles and infant care products. Both internationally and in the U.S., its Playskool, Kenner, Tonka, Milton Bradley, Parker Brothers, Koosh and Hasbro Interactive products provide children and families with the highest quality and most recognizable toys and games in the world. In addition to Star Wars they include: Mr. Potato Head, Tinkertoy, G.I. Joe, Tonka Trucks, Easy Bake Oven, The Game of Life, Scrabble, and Monopoly to name a few.

Lucasfilm Ltd. is one of the leading film and entertainment companies in the world. Lucasfilm Ltd.'s businesses include George Lucas' film and television production and distribution activities as well as the business activities of the THX Group. Lucasfilm's feature films have won 17 Oscars and received 56 Academy Award nominations, and its television projects have won 12 Emmy Awards.

The Lucas group of companies also include LucasArts Entertainment Company, Lucas Digital Ltd., and Lucas Licensing Ltd. LucasArts Entertainment Company is a leading international developer and publisher of entertainment software, whose games have won critical acclaim with more than 100 industry awards for excellence. Lucas Digital Ltd., which consists of Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) and Skywalker Sound, services the digital needs of the entertainment industry for visual effects and audio post-production. ILM has won 14 Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects and 12 Technical Achievement Awards. Skywalker Sound has been honored with 10 Academy Awards. Lucas Licensing Ltd. is responsible for the licensing of all Lucasfilm's film and television properties. Star Wars has spawned the most successful film-based merchandising program in history. The cornerstones of the program have been the categories of basic toys and games, which are the subject of the new agreement with Hasbro, small-scale toys, video and computer games, and a broad-based book and comic publishing program. CONTACT: Hasbro Inc., Wayne Charness, 401/727-5983

10 - 14 - 97

Notice how this URL address (http://www.darthmaul.com) links to the Official Star Wars Site. Try other names like Padme, Darth Sidious, Naboo, etc.-- It is just Lucasfilm's small way of saying. Got You ! These fake prequel character names were spread by Lucasfilm as a joke to show that even the most well intentioned web sites will fall prey to even the most ridiculous rumors regarding the prequel. (Source: Insider at Lucasfilm)

Excerpt from the Star Wars screen saver: "A meeting with Senator Palpatine quickly turned to a more personal nature as the small politician described to Anakin the wonders of the dark side and the incredible power it holds. Anakin saw the advantages such power could afford him and his pregnant wife. " (Source: Venged)

Ben Kenobi's explanation to Luke in the novelization of Return of Jedi that Luke's father, Anakin Skywalker, fell into a molten, lava pit, which nearly killed Anakin and led to his transformation into the nefarious Darth Vader, Lord of the Sith is not the way Anakin becomes Darth Vader in the prequels. (Source: Asgard)

With the worldwide release date of the new Monopoly(R) Star Wars(R) CD-ROM game next week, Hasbro Interactive and LucasArts Entertainment Company announced today that Anthony Daniels, one of the original cast members of the Star Wars film series, will reprise his role as C-3PO in the CD-ROM game as its host and intergalactic banker. True to his character, the quirkily lovable droid is careful to note his esteemed role in the game as he greets players in the opening sequence: "Hello. I am C-3PO, human cyborg relations. My primary functions are in protocol and etiquette. It is, therefore, most fitting that I am to be your host in this game of Monopoly Star Wars. Oh my!"

Hearing C-3PO's familiar voice at the start of the game immediately evokes exciting memories of that first Star Wars experience. Daniels, who has played C-3P0 in all of the Star Wars films, wrote and recorded hundreds of vintage Monopoly game phrases in the exactingly quirky style of C-3PO, such as "I am afraid you are going to spend some time in a detention cell." In other words, Go to Jail!

According to Hasbro Interactive President Tom Dusenberry, the experience is totally authentic to the Monopoly game and Star Wars film series. "Both of these entertainment properties are so ingrained in our culture. What we've done in the CD-ROM game is capture the characters, icons and phrases that fans of both the Monopoly game and Star Wars will identify with and employ in such a way that together they create an even bigger, more thrilling entertainment experience," explains Dusenberry. (Source: Sundown)

10 - 13 - 97

Lucas is beyond tight-lipped--more like wired-shut when discussing the prequel: A typical, non-illuminating response from Lucas about the plot of his film: "There is a queen in a society in the film who is a pivotal character..." (Whoa there, George. You almost gave away the goods. "A queen in a society?!?!" Go ahead and spoil the whole thing for us, why don't you?) Lucas has always been a better storyteller than an interviewee, so there's hope yet for Episode 1, which, if we dare get more specific, will also detail the birth (or, rather, production) of 'droids, R2-D2 and C-3PO. (Source: Joal Ryan of E!-Online) (Ed. Note: Mr. Lucas is not a big fan of sarcasm, Joal.)

Lucas stopped directing after Star Wars, saying he found it tedious, and turned instead to producing. "In opting not to direct, Lucas does not signal withdrawal or superiority," wrote David Thomson in A Biographical Dictionary of Film: Third Edition. "Rather, he testifies to the principle that American pictures are produced, not directed." (Source: Wildforce)

Lucas has built up Industrial Light & Magic--the premier special effects house in the film industry. Its technology is responsible for the proliferation of high-tech pictures, including the remastered Star Wars trilogy. Meanwhile, studios are hoping to get on the profitable side of the Force as they court Lucas and his new trilogy for distribution rights. He says he can make the films for about $70 million each--a bargain by today's standards, but a far cry from the $10 million that Fox dished out for the first Star Wars. The entire film franchise has raked in more than $800 million domestically, and that's not counting video or merchandising. The receipts for the next film could be of Jabba proportions. The still untitled new film, which is expected to debut in 1999, is the first of three prequels to the original series. Like its predecessor, it will feature little-known actors. It has finished the first phase of production in England. Lucas is keeping the details of the story hush-hush--one industry rumor says that Lucas keeps the only copy on his person at all times. (Source: Blind Keeper)

There's no business like the toy business for George Lucas. The real force behind the Star Wars franchise is about to shoot into hyperspace dollar-wise, as Lucas is expected to close a deal on toy licensing rights soon for Luke and Leia action figures (plus, board games, models and what-not) that will net his company, Lucasfilm Ltd., upwards of $1 billion.

If $1 billion sounds like a lot, it is. The price tag, in fact, has never sounded higher. Ever.

The record-setting licensing deal might be done within the next month. Three suitors are vying for the contract: Hasbro (the G.I. Joe people), Mattel (the Barbie people) and Galoob Toys. The winner gets to produce tie-in toys for the highly anticipated Star Wars prequel trilogy. The new movies stand to make the already valuable Star Wars name even more so. That's why the new licensing pact, which will run over the next nine to 10 years, is such a hot ticket. Hasbro and Galoob are owners of the existing toy contracts with Lucasfilm; Mattel is the wannabe party crasher. (It's also the company accused of driving up the deal price. Mattel reportedly was the first to broach the $1 billion mark. Seems the makers of Barbie's Dream House are desperate to latch onto a toy franchise that attracts boys as much as its plastic-headed blonde attracts girls.)

Galoob is viewed as the biggest loser if it doesn't get the new contract. Even the mere hint that it might not, drives down its stock prices. Why? Hasbro will always have G.I. Joe; Mattel will always have Barbie. But if Galoob doesn't have Star Wars, it doesn't have much left. Almost half its projected $360 million sales for 1997 are tied up in the Millennium Falcon (and the like). And that's partly why Galoob is shooting for the moon in the new contract negotiations--it wants the whole enchilada, all the toy rights, not just a share this time. For that, it'd even be willing to give Lucasfilm a stake in the company. (Source: Shadow Blade)

According to Forbes Magazine, George Lucas is now worth over $ 2 billion. (Ed. Note: So Lucas will be donating all profits from the prequels to charity). (Source: Chuck L.)

In a recent interview printed in a European magazine, Samuel L. Jackson states that he has no idea what part Lucas has in store for him in the prequel. (Source: Lemoncut)

For an interesting look at what we may have to look forward to in the second prequel visit this web site---Star Wars: Episode II.

10 - 12 - 97

Lucas is amused by the frenzy that exists in the "internet underworld" regarding prequel rumors involving the names of his prequel characters, the release dates of his prequel trailer and his prequel movie. We assure the public that the real-names of the prequel characters played by various actors are quite safe from "spies." If even 1 % of the internet rumors were correct, then the prequel would be a very disappointing film as compared to the ingenious story that Lucas has formed both on paper and in his head. (Source: Anonymous Lucasfilm Spokesperson)

In the glory days of the Old Republic, the Senate is composed of both humans and hundreds of different races of non-human species (some that are seen in the Trilogy and some that are completely new to us). In the prequels, after Palpatine seizes control of the Senate, the Emperor bans non-human races from being members of the Imperial Senate because Palpatine and his followers consider non-human species to be inferior races. (Source: Insider at Lucasfilm)

The irony for Lucas is that for all the money and glory earned by Return of the Jedi, Lucas walked away from the Academy Awards with relatively little, winning one Oscar for special visual effects. As a Hollywood outsider, many individuals in Hollywood recent Lucas' unparalled box-office success while following his own rules and not those set by Hollywood. (Source: Die Cast)

On March 5, 1979, The Empire Strikes Back began filming in Finse, Norway, immediately falling behind schedule in the worst European winter in years. A week later, other lensing began at Elstree in London on what was to be a four-month shoot that would require 64 sets and 250 scenes. Budget was set at $ 18,500,000.

10 - 11 - 97

The young Anakin Skywalker is rumored to barely avoid an early death in a spacecraft accident as a young boy in the prequel similar to the way Lucas was nearly killed as a teenager in a near-fatal car accident as a teenager. Until that fate-altering car wreck, Lucas' only ambition in life was to be a race car driver, but this wreck changed all that. Instead, of auto racing, Lucas became fascinated with filmmaking and eventually enrolled at the University of Southern California's film school where Lucas made many brilliant student films like THX-1138. And the rest is history . . . (Source: Sundown)

There will be no prequel action figures or vehicles released in 1998. (Source: Anonymous Toy Manufacturer Employee)

There should be amphibious stormtroopers and/or amphibious Mandalorian supercommandos in the prequel(s). (Source: Wayward Jedi)


10 - 10 - 97

Names for prequel characters, that are circulating on the Net, played by Natalie Portman, Liam Neeson, etc. are disinformation and the prequel trailer will definitely (100% guaranteed) NOT be released with prints of Titanic or any other film opening in 1998. (Source: Lucasfilm Insider)

Lucas has filmed several different endings to the prequel in order to keep internal "spies" at bay and to serve as disinformation in the future and to preserve the ultimate secrecy of the prequel storyline. (Source: Harris T.)

The digital trailblazers at ILM are on the frontier of digital effects, with a computer manipulating images that exist only in digitized memory and painting the images directly onto film. Artists can use an electronic stylus to paint a full range of colors onto mattes; model makers and designers can construct what they sometimes need directly onto a screen. Using spaceage technology, a computer can break down studio pictures just the way computers handle what a camera sees on Mars. The possibilities for the prequel are almost limitless, held back only by continuing deficiences in video resolution. The stunning digital effects pioneered by ILM over the last 15 years will make a stunning debut in the prequel. (Source: Insider at ILM)

The water battle in the prequel will occur both above and below the water with "sea skimmers" above the water and attack subs fighting below the water. The amazing aspect of this portion of the prequel is that it will be 95% pure digital, existing only in a computer databank in San Rafael, CA. The only live action shots needed for the water battle are the close up shots of the human actors and creatures involved in the battle. (Source: Anonymous Lucasfilm spokesperson)

C3PO has a voice that sounds like "a slick used-car salesman", the tentative release date is Wednesday, May 26th 1999, there is no pod race, Neeson does NOT play Anakin's Father, and the water environment is seen at the beginning of the film. (Source: Dark Horizons)

These are some of the prequel licenses that are in the works at Lucasfilm: Brookfield Athletic Shoe Co., East Brookfield, Maine-- Roller blades, ice skates and skateboards, Ben Cooper Inc., New York-- Masquerade costumes, playsuits, ponchos and children's masks, Huffy Corp., Metal-- frame bicycles, Lee Co., New York-- Belts, Buckles and suspenders, Oral-B Laboratories, Redwood City, Ca.,-- Toothbrushes and dental floss, Paradise Press, South Norwalk, Conn.-- Magazines, posters and souvenir booklets----- to name just a few of the many, many prequel licenses that will or have already been granted by Lucasfilm. (Source: Vecton)

There will not be a prequel novelization published prior to the prequel that would reveal the plotline/title of the film/names of the characters to the prequel. When asked why the Star Wars novelization was published in December 1976, several months prior to the theatrical release of the film, a former Lucasfilm employee has this to say: "The first book came out the first week in December, 1976 because I wanted people to know the story. I thought the story was strong enough to get people interested. The book was sold out of the warehouse by February 1977, which was very unusual for a first novel. We had shipped 150,000 out by February 1977, a strong indication that the fans were interested. In February 1977, no lay person had any idea that there was anything called 'Star Wars' out there; yet the science fiction community knew full well and not only that but bought them up to the point that we sold out. The Star Wars novel eventually sold over 5 million copies. Lucasfilm doesn't need that type of publicity for the prequel and; therefore, the prequel novelization will not be published until after the release of the film in Spring 1999." (Source: Paradise View)

The video sales of the special editions slip to number 2 on the video charts this week. (Source: Mortimer)

10 - 9 - 97

A tsunami of rumors in today:

Ewan McGregor's (the young Ben Kenobi) asking price per film has now gone up to $ 5 million for films that will be released after the Prequel debuts in 1999. Many in Hollywood believe that Ewan may be the next Harrison Ford action hero. (Source: Hollywood Insider)

Lucasfilm is patting itself on the back on the way it has been able to keep the character names for Natalie Portman's and Liam Neeson's character and other characters a complete secret from the outside world. Lucas doesn't quite grasp why everybody is so obsessed with knowing the character names, titles of the prequels and plotline to the prequel. (Source: Insider at Lucasfilm)

Lucasfilm now has developed film equipment that makes the filmmaking process alot easier. George Lucas wanted to have the equipment to enable him to see everything together as a whole picture, eliminating all of the splicing time. EditDroids, for example, have big television screens allowing Lucas to look at the picture and electronically move it around. (Source: Taggon)

More than any other section, the model shop is top-secret at I.L.M. Security in general is a phobia at the building complex located in San Rafael, California. An unaware visitor, in fact, would have a tough time finding the place. The sign on the street identifies the Lucasfilm buildings with a totally fictitious name to discourage intruders. One I.L.M. staffer claims that: "'Star Wars' fans tend to snoop around a lot," even rummaging through the garbage in search of souvenirs. (Source: Shadow Blade)

The I.L.M. staffers are adjusting to having Lucas back at the helm again. When I.L.M. is working on non-Lucasfilm produced movies, Lucas isn't a part of leading the day-to-day activities of I.L.M. That really changes the nature of I.L.M. I.L.M. was built as his company and when he isn't at the helm, the nature of the company changes. Non-Lucasfilm projects give more people at I.L.M. the opportunity to lead projects. I.L.M. never works on one complicated, venturesome picture at a time. Then, they all gathered forces again under Lucas in 1996 to start on the prequels. People have a lot of confidence and faith with him at the helm. It's more fun. The camaraderie is there, the goals are there when working for Lucas--he's such a clear person, he knows the way he wants the prequels. (Source: Gibbons)

What's interesting about Lucas' negotiations with 20th Century Fox in the 1970's concerning Star Wars is that the two most important things were certainly not important to the movie companies in those days. Merchandise rights for movies were worthless in the 1970's and sequels: sequels to Star Wars? Big deal. It turned out to be a big deal. Lucas insisted on preserving merchandising rights and sequel rights for himself and that gave him incredible power once Star Wars became a hit. (Source: Sundown)

It is theorized that in Episode 3 the Emperor ingeniously mass replicates Imperial stormtroopers through cloning in order to fight a war of attrition against the Jedi Knights. The Emperor orders thousands upon thousands of stormtroopers to be quickly mass produced to help Vader, the dark Jedi and the bounty hunters (i.e. Fett, Bossk) to overwhelm the Jedi Knights with sheer numbers. While the stormtroopers are high in number, they are low in quality due to the low production quality (i.e. stormtroopers are dumb and poor shots, but extremely, extremely loyal to the Empire and especially the Emperor) that results from the Emperor wanting as many stormtroopers as possible regardless of their low quality. Hence, the Emperor is willing to trade the lives of 100 stormtroopers to kill one Jedi Knight. This tactic works and in the end only Ben Kenobi and Yoda survive the Imperial Jedi massacre. Once the Jedi Knights are destroyed the Empire then betrays the dark Jedi and has them driven into complete extinction. (Source: Lemoncut)

The picture at the starwars.com site of the closeup of a fighter pilot sitting in a yellow fighter with his R2 unit sitting behind him is part of a scene that was shot in the hangar set pictured on the same page. The yellow machinery in that picture was thought to be machinery, but now we know that they are ships. (Source: Madge)

Indiana Jones 4: Rumors about the next Indy Film

The Silencer Star Wars Prequel SpyNet: Summary of the latest prequel rumors and news

RebelJedi's Star Wars Update

10 - 8 - 97

According to inside sources, it is rumoured that 20th Century Fox has sweetened the deal with Lucas in order to secure the distribution rights to the Prequel: 90% (Lucasfilm)/ 10% (Fox) split of the box office pie, Fox to spend $ 25 million of its own money to promote the Prequel through various entertainment outlets, $ 15 million payment from Fox to Lucasfilm for the exclusive rights to use the Prequel trailer(s) with 20th Century Fox films, $ 20 million dollars worth of free commercial ad time on Fox TV (owned by 20th Century Fox), several prime time network specials featuring the behind-the-scenes making of the Prequel and other juicy incentives. (Source: Insider at 20th Century Fox)(Ed. Note: No other studio can come close to matching this deal offered by Fox.)

In Daily Variety (June 3, 1987, page 34) editon, this Hollywood trade paper reported that: "Wherever George Lucas goes, the first question fans, press and everybody else asks is: When will there be another 'Star Wars?' The answer is always the same: Some day." Flash forward to 1997: Wherever George Lucas goes, the first question fans, press and everybody else asks is: When will the Prequel be released ? (a question which has now becoming irritating to Lucas.) Answer: Spring 1999. (Source: Anonymous Lucasfilm Insider)

One of George Lucas' goals is to preserve the release of his movies first through the theatre format. There is nothing that can compare to experiencing the Star Wars films with an audience. Lucas believes that for the cineplexes to preserve themselves as the premier and first distribution centers of first-run motion pictures; they need to upgrade their exhibition standards: "Obviously, electronically sending the film to the theaters is a big possibility. I think the big issue is going to be resolution and how well that's going to be resolved. It has to do with a lot of government regulation and not just the technology itself." (Source: Wayward Jedi)(Ed. Note: This is one of Lucas' dreams that is probably still 15 years away from fruition.)

Anakin Skywalker never recovers emotionally from his father abandoning him as a young child. (Source: Lucasfilm Insider)

R2-D2's "search" on Tatooine (at the beginning of the Prequel) is not related to what is going on in Anakin's life. Anakin never meets the R2 unit that becomes Luke Skywalker's close friend in the Trilogy. (Source: Algistic)

Anakin's mother encourages Anakin to follow Palpatine in Episode 2, even though the young Queen (and many others) beg Anakin to avoid the evil Senator Palpatine. Anakin's mother falls in love with Palpatine prior to her death later in the prequels. (Source: Shadow Blade)

10 - 7 - 97

An assassination (of one of the Senate's most senior members) alters the course of destiny in the Prequel. (Source: HAL2001)

It is rumored that Senator Palpatine is smitten by the young Queen's beauty and pursues her as a wife. But the young Queen chooses Anakin over all of her many, many suitors. (Source: Sundown)

Mon Mothma is one of the few senators of the Republic who are brave enough to challenge Senator Palpatine and his followers in the prequels. (Source: AT-AT)

Speculation has it that Boba Fett is one of Anakin's clones. (Source: Blind Keeper)

Rumor has it that the Palpatine of the Trilogy is not the same person who becomes Emperor in the prequels. Palpatine does not become Emperor until years later by means of an assassination of the original Emperor. (Source: Die Cast)

It is conjectured that Mon Mothma may be Luke and Leia's real mother and is the young Queen. (Source: Shallowjedi)

10 - 6 - 97

Beru and Owen Lars are rumored to meet each other while training with Ben "Obi-Wan" Kenobi at Yoda's Jedi Academy. (Source: Blitz Jedi)

The rise of Senator Palpatine from minor aristocratic senator to Emperor of the Galaxy is thought to mirror Julius Ceaser's rise to power in Rome (from minor aristocratic senator to Emperor of the Roman Empire). Both Palpatine and Ceasar believe they are the only ones who can save their respective, crumbling Republics from ruination. (Source: Fearster)

The Empire exists prior to the beginning of the Episode One because the Republic is an Empire. Palpatine changes the Republic from a democratic Empire to a dictatorship and the Republic's Empire (ruled by the people) becomes the evil Galactic Empire (ruled by Palpatine). (Source: Insider at Lucasfilm)

It is rumored that Liam Neeson's character is not related to Anakin Skywalker. (Source: Rebel)

It is rumored that Senator Palpatine (the future Emperor) has little, natural powers in the Force (and is rejected by the Jedi) and has to turn to the dark side in order to tap the vast powers of the Force. (Source: Solo Force)

Fox TV (of the U.S.A.) had a television film crew on location with Lucas in Italy, Tunisia and Leavesden. This film crew was filming a behind-the-scenes making of Star Wars: Episode One to air on Fox TV in the U.S.A as a series of one hour specials to promote the Prequel in 1999 . . . 20th Century Fox is offering Lucas millions-of-dollars worth of free commercial ad time (on their U.S.A. Fox Network) to promote the Prequel if Lucas will give Fox the rights to distribute the prequels. (Source: 20th Century Fox Contact)(Ed. Note: Yet another Star Wars videocassette to eventually buy.)

10 - 5 - 97

Here are film titles for the prequels that are rumored to be bouncing around the offices at Lucasfilm: Star Wars (with no sub-title), Balance of the Force, Betrayal of the Force, Genesis, The Beginning, Masters of the Force, Circle of the Jedi, The Grand Republic, Lords of the Force, Edge of the Republic, Empire of the Republic, The New Empire, Sabres of the Force, Light of the Force, Souls of Darkness, Lords of the Dark Side, Conquest of the Republic, Fear of the Empire, Rage of the Dark Side, Blaze of the Force, Behind the Rising Force, Battle for the Empire, Crusaders of the Force, Age of the Jedi, etc. (Source: Vecton)(Ed. Note: The title of the Prequel(s) is known only to Lucas)

Lucas is currently the most envied filmmaker in all of Hollywood. No other filmmaker has had the luxury to prep his/her pet or personal film project for nearly 15 years (like Lucas with the Prequels). Also, not only is Lucas a billionaire and has a full head of hair, Lucas is going to be able to shoot and re-shoot the Prequel until he gets it perfect. Most directors would kill (literally) for this ability. And Lucas, more importantly, has all the time in the world to finish the Prequel. He still has 20 months to tinker and perfect every little detail of the Prequel prior to its release in May 1999. So if the Prequel isn't the best film ever made then Lucas only has himself to blame. (Source: Anonymous Hollywood Insider)

It is rumored that Fett may be a young man like Anakin. This brings up some interesting thoughts. What if Anakin and Fett were friends/brothers/cousins, etc. in Episode One? This could help explain why Fett acts so nonchalant in the Empire Strikes Back towards the most feared man in the galaxy (Vader). They don't just have a mere ordinary, common history, they actually grew up together . . . (Source: Sameer Ketkar)(Ed. Note: And no Sameer Ketkar is not the name of a character in the Prequel. It's just somebody with a cool name.)

It is speculated that if Anakin's father isn't the Emperor himself (Liam Neeson?), then Anakin's father won't be in the movie at all (or is killed off by the end of episode 1). Anakin may feel like a loner, similar to Luke in A New Hope, and raised only by his mother, he craves a male role model. this turns him to the temptations of the dard side and the evil Senator Palpatine. Anakin's wanton search for adventure leads him farther into Palpatine's arms. Then, in Return of the Jedi, Vader redeems himself by wanting to give HIS son something he personally never had, a caring father--or maybe a father at all. Perhaps Anakin's father and the Emperor are one and the same or is the only father-figure Vader has ever known--and that's why Vader/Anakin reveres Palpatine! (Source: Fruitbat)

10 - 4 - 97

Lucas is amused with those trying to tell him when the prequel trailer and prequel movie will be ready for distribution and release. Only God knows when the second coming of Christ is going to occur and, likewise, only Lucas knows when the prequel trailer and movie will be ready. Anyone, who expects to see a prequel trailer in the cineplexes prior to Christmas 1998, is going to be greatly disappointed and those who think the prequel film will be ready for a 1998 release date are severely mistaken. (Source: Anonymous Lucasfilm Spokesperson)

Fox TV had a TV film crew in Italy, Tunisia and Leavesden while Lucas was filming the Prequel. They were filming a behind-the-scenes-look at the making of the Prequel. (Source: Jezzy)

Liam Neeson is probably not Anakin's father in the prequels. (Source: Racine 2)

Boba Fett might be a clone... but there are a few things we know: Fett is basically a very silent guy. Fett is NOT a mandalorian warrior and is probably a young man like Anakin in the prequels. And Fett would not be throwing all his charm over those women from Jabba's palace if he were an old man in the Trilogy. And whoever said Mandalorians are humanoids. Fett could be Greedo's brother. (Source: Nique)

Those at the Hollywood Reporter are "guestimating" the Prequel box-office potential based on how Independence Day faired at the box office. ID4 opened with more than $ 50 million in its first three days of release and eventually grossed over $ 306 million in North American and an additional $ 507 million overseas. They expect the Prequel to make between $ 90 to $ 115 million in its first weekend of release with a final North American box-office gross of $ 410 million and $ 560 million overseas. (Source: Spenard)

Lucasfilm should make the Prequel in 3-D using I.M.A.X technology. (Source: Rachen)


10 - 3 - 97

Even those on location and on the sound stages during part one of the prequel film shoot cannot figure out what the "twists" and "turns" of the prequel plotline will be. The digitized voices of the computer-generated beings, droids and various other creatures will not be added until later. And their dialogue that was spoken during filming is thought to be disinformation. So when droid A said that X has been attacked by Y, undoubtedly, in the editing room, Lucas will change what droid A said to V has been attacked by W. (Source: Shadow Blade)

Since Lucas has not directed a blockbuster in over 20 years, some studio executives in Hollywood fear that Lucas is out of touch with the current cinematic marketplace. Many fear that age, family and maturity may have "slowed" Lucas' kinetic approach to film making. Lucas is known for thrill-a-minute roller-coaster movies like the Star Wars and Indiana Jones Trilogies, however; that was then this is now. Many fear that Lucas will get "bogged down" in exposition and character development in the prequel(s). The prequel may be more like The English Patient, Sling Blade or Jerry McGuire than Independence Day, Twister or the Lost World. (Source: Blazon)

It is naive not to understand that films that make money also finance the ones that don't. Hollywood has been making big blockbusters since The Birth of a Nation (in 1915) and there are far more art films today than in 1977. Star Wars fans know that Lucas has been carrying this story (the prequels) about the Skywalker family around in his head for 20 years now and that he has to tell it. He doesn't have a choice; its his destiny. And when he does tell it, it will be all right. (Source: Gunga Din)

10 - 2 - 97

Lucasfilm is gaining ground in its 10-year effort to build new digital-imaging facilities and a base for multimedia entertainment and educational products on land near its Skywalker Ranch headquarters in Lucas Valley. Though some neighbors have strongly opposed the development of the more than 3,200 acres, the Marin County Planning Commission passed the plan, which now goes on to the Board of Supervisors. But even if the facilities are finally approved, Lucas faces a major disappointment -- he cannot, as hoped, develop the high-tech digital plant in time for the new ``Star Wars'' film he has written. (Source: Confidential Lucasfilm Informant)

Rick McCallum on the Trilogy Special Edition: ''We wanted to reintroduce the 'Star Wars' movies so these kids would be able to follow the prequel in three years,'' acknowledges McCallum, who will produce the new installments, described as ''darker and more complex.'' . . . The president of 20th Century Fox' film division: ''Do we want to have the prequel? Of course we do - everybody does,'' says Sherak. ''When George gets here, we'll lock the door and won't let him out until he makes the deal.'' (Source: Shindor)

Congratulations to Dan Madsen and all the folks at the Star Wars Insider (1 - 800 - TRUE - FAN). They now have over 90,000 subscribers. (Source: Vecton)

The fact that Samuel Jackson is in his 40's during the prequels does not preclude the possibility that he might play Boba Fett in the prequel. The prequel is science fiction, after all. The Fett of the trilogy could always be a clone; he might be an alien or he may just be old under that helmet. Why not? (Source: Kris A.)(Ed. Note: In other words, anything is possible with George Lucas)

Regarding the rumor that I.L.M. will create an entirely digitized Obi-Wan Kenobi for Episodes 2 and 3: "It's not happening! It's never happening!" says producer Rick McCallum. "We're not interested in that kind of use of technology at all. ... Obviously we'll try to cast an actor that reasonably looks like a young Alec Guinness, but we'll be casting a flesh-and-blood actor. ... I promise you that that rumor as well as 99 percent of the other stuff that's written and is out there about `Star Wars' is complete and utter nonsense. But it IS fun. It's people just going berserk and obsessing over something that has clearly excited them and captured their minds." (Source: Insider at Lucasfilm)

From the Friday, January 31, 1997 edition of the San Francisco Examiner:

RICK MCCALLUM, the producer of the special edition of the "Star Wars Trilogy," is a devotee of realism in cinema who finds himself working on the greatest fantasy film project ever, the "prequels" to George Lucas' beloved trio, "Star Wars," "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi." Producing the long-awaited, much-rumored movies, which will deal with the beginning of the Skywalker family saga and the friendship between Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, excites the 42-year-old McCallum. "Even though I had more mainstream interests," he says, "I stood in line to see "Star Wars' on the second day of its release back in 1977.

"This extended narrative is not unlike Coppola's drama of the Corleones in "The Godfather' - it's a galactic epic of a family, the Skywalkers. A group of people confronted by complex moral choices such as we face today. "We're going to start with the early years of Anakin Skywalker and his friend Obi-Wan Kenobi and go on up through their life as Jedi knights to the point at which they become enemies. By the time we reach the "Star Wars' trilogy that we're all familiar with, it should be clear that this is the story of a fallen man who's redeemed by his children."

Lucasfilm is being very secretive about the plot of the upcoming films (what true movie fan wants to ruin the experience by finding out what's going to happen anyhow?), but McCallum is willing to discuss some of the logistical intentions and problems. "We want to use digital technology and computer graphics to introduce a lot of new, fascinating life forms. At ILM (Industrial Light & Magic), we're very concerned with achieving the kind of animation effects that impart character to a creature and allow a seamless interaction with the human actors. "I can also tell you that the screenplay for the first movie is the best writing George has done. It's beautiful and very moving," says McCallum.

For now, McCallum can't afford to concentrate solely on the future because he's right in the middle of shepherding the trilogy into re-release and he has to focus on the quality of its presentation. "We're going to open in 2,000 digital theaters, with over 1,100 of them THX houses. Everyone's going to be able to see and hear the films as they were intended."

McCallum went on to complain about the indifference of some theater owners to proper sound reproduction and inadequate projection of the image. He's pleased by the thought of using digital technology to force them to exhibit films the right way. "I can hardly wait for the day when we're able to do digital transmissions directly into a theater. We'll encode them so they'll have to be projected brightly, in the exact color and at the proper volume, with their full, recorded dynamic range." Digital technology is not something to be taken casually at Lucasfilm because it made possible the rehabilitation of the trilogy as Lucas initially envisioned it. Until the last few years, he simply didn't have the tools to realize his dreams. (Souce: Charlie P.)

10 - 1 - 97

Don't be misled by those claiming that the prequel will be released in 1998. It simply is not going to happen for several reasons: First, I.L.M. is still perfecting some of the digital techniques needed to capture Lucas' "vision." Second, the 1,500 plus visual effects are so complex and so time consuming that a May 1999 release date is not going to be an easy goal either. Third, a Christmas 1998 release date is ludicrous because Lucas will only release Star Wars movies on the Wednesday prior to Memorial Day (May 26, 1999). Lastly, 20th Century Fox rushed Lucas to release Star Wars in 1977 before Lucas could finish the film in the way that he wanted to and Lucas has always resented that. Hence, the earliest possible release date is May 26, 1999 and the final product will be more than worth the wait. (Source: Anonymous Lucasfilm Insider)

Speculation is that The Clone Wars do not begin in Episode 1. Instead, the Clone Wars begin just prior to the beginning of Episode 2 so when Episode 2 begins we see the almost 40 Ben Kenobi and the twenty-something Anakin Skywalker fighting side-by-side in the Clone Wars. Anakin becomes a Jedi Knight in Episode 2 and appears destined to lead the Jedi Council until the evil Palpatine and Anakin's delusions of grandeur sway him to the dark side. (Source: Sundown)

Universal Studios funded Lucas' $ 15 million experimental-film-flop "Radioland Murders" in hopes that this would give Universal an inside shot at releasing Episode 2 of the prequels. Fox is all but certain to release the prequel. However, Episode 2 and 3 may be released by Universal and Paramount (which is willing to fund a $ 20 million restoration and special edition of the Indiana Jones Trilogy), respectively. (Source: Shadow Blade)

PBS is rumored to be airing the 1978 "Star Wars Holiday Special" during a pledge drive (i.e., give public television money, please) in 1998. (Source: Bailey)

The Journal of the Whills (the mythical book(s) containing the entire history of the Star Wars Universe) is based on the Red Book of Westmarch, which is the book that contains the history of J.R.R. Tolkien's (The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers and The Return of the King) Middle Earth. (Source: Vecton)

It has come to our attention that it would be chronologically impossible for Samuel L. Jackson to play Boba Fett in the prequels. Jackson is already in his 40's so by the time of Episode 4: A New Hope (which occurs 32 years after the prequel), Boba Fett would be in his 70's. And Boba Fett is not that old in the trilogy. (Source: Nique)(Ed. Note: Thanks for clarifying that Christian !)

Trivia: John Ratzenberger (Cliff Claven on Cheers [a U.S.A. TV show]) played Major Derlin on Hoth in the Empire Strikes Back. (Source: Wisher)

9 - 30 - 97

One of the creatures created by Nick Dudman, the creature effects supervisor for Episode 1, is a gangly, skinny humanoid droid that looks somewhat like a metal human skeleton. Some believe that this may be the new See Threepio (C3PO) in the prequel. (Source: Blazon)

There is speculation that Samuel L. Jackson might be playing a character that becomes Boba Fett in Episode 3. In the LucasFilm archives, production sketches of Fett show him without a helmet and armor and he looks like an African American. (Source: Lemoncut)(Ed. Note: Jackson is most likely a minor character that makes a brief appearance only in Episode 1)

This Lucas quote is taken from the very end of the Time Magazine article (Feb. 10, 1997, "The Force Is Back," page 74) mentioned in yesterday's rumors: "There was a cinematic innovation in the first Star Wars film that made people say, 'Gee, I'd never seen that before.' I have the opportunity to do that again with the prequels. The fun part for me is to say, 'You want me to come back and do that for you? I can do that. I'll do it. Here.'" (Source: J.C.)

9 - 29 - 97

According to the prequel "animatic" storyboards, rumor has it that Lucas is likely to include battle scenes in the following environments: surface of a star (a space battle amongst the perilous solar flairs of a giant red sun), volcanic (where Anakin Skywalker falls into a molten, lava pit while fighting Ben Kenobi in a light sabre duel), cavernous environment (where Republic and Mandalorian subterranean-attack craft have a battle) and a water world (where Republic V-wings and C-Wings battle the Mandalorian). (Source: Lucasfilm Insider)

The following is an excerpt from an article in Time Magazine (February 10, 1997, "The Force is Back," page 73): Lucas now claims to be happy with"about 80%" of Star Wars--and annoyed with purists who resent his mucking about with a classic. After all, Star Wars is his movie. "The only thing I joke about now is it would be fun-- and we can't do this for another 10 years or so-- to go back and digitize the entire movie and clean it up. But that's such a subtle, subtle thing." (Source: J.C.)

The PC game, Rebellion, from the folks at LucasArts will not be available until sometime in 1998. The delay is due to LucasArts development of a revolutionary, new Artificial Intelligence "engine" to make the game play more challenging. (Source: Megabyte)

The Prequel video games and PC games are in development at LucasArts and the security is going to be even tighter and more secure than that for the Prequel film production, since the LucasArts offices are easier to keep secure than the Leavesden Studio exterior and interior sets. (Source: Solo Force)

9 - 28 - 97

For the 30th anniversary of Star Wars: A New Hope (2007), Lucas will have the digital technology available to change or add new storylines to the trilogy, add new characters to the trilogy and actually modify or replace the human actors with photo-realistic computer-generated actors (if he thinks these changes are appropriate). (Source: HAL2001)

Here is someone's speculation about what the prequel might be about: Ben Kenobi gets in "trouble" with the Sith and flees to Tatooine. Ben crashes on Tatooine and is rescued from the wreckage of his ship by the young Anakin Skywalker. Liam Neeson (Anakin's father) befriends Ben. The Sith locate Ben on Tatooine and Ben, Liam and Anakin flee Tatooine; Anakin's mother is killed by the Sith. Later, Liam is killed trying to protect Anakin and Ben from the Sith dark Jedi. Ben vows to protect Anakin. Ben then goes to Yoda's home world with Anakin and Ben completes his Jedi training with many other young Jedi. A new threat, the Mandalorian, arises and Ben joins the fight against the Mandalorian with the Jedi and Republic warriors. The climax of the film involves a spectacular battle involving a land battle, a space battle and an aquatic battle, which all occur simultaneously. The Mandalorian are temporarily defeated and the Jedi and the Republic celebrate their victory over the Mandalorian, until the Clone Wars begin about ten years later. (Source: Random)

Rumor has it that the various movie executives in Hollywood are beginning to take bets among themselves on who can come closest to predicting how much the prequel will gross at the box office in the U.S. A few execs think that the prequel will make as little as $ 275 million (in U.S. dollars) during its U.S. theatrical release. However, most think that it will make somewhere in the neighborhood of $ 400 million in the U.S. While a small, small minority believe it will be the first motion picture to surpass the $ 500 million barrier in the U.S. (Source: Anonymous Hollywood Insider)

9 - 27 - 97

Episode One is rumored to focus heavily on Ben Kenobi and his adventures. The young Anakin Skywalker plays a less-significant supporting role in Episode One. Then, the focus of the prequels in Episode 2 and 3 shifts heavily to the adult Anakin Skywalker and the tragic decisions and mistakes that he makes. (Source: Lucasfilm Insider)

The civilizations of the Republic in the prequel are rumored to be more clean, bright, cheery and civilized places than the anarchic and run-down galaxy that exists in the Trilogy. Once the Jedi are defeated in Episode 3, peace, morality and order crumble in the Republic, which is the Star Wars version of the utopian Camelot. Without the Jedi to protect the Republic ("Camelot"), the Republic is crushed by the empire and its ways and customs are all but forgetten by the beginning of Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope. (Source: Vecton)

The Star Wars Insider Magazine is putting together an exhaustive interview with George Lucas, which will include anecdotes from his recent filming in Tunisia. (Source: Taylor L.)

Rumors from inside Lucasfilm warn that when Lucas is seen in a photo with a vehicle, prop, etc. that this is most likely something that Lucas has decided not to put in the prequel and is considered by Lucas to be safe information to release for the pleasure of the Star Wars fans. (Source: Zealot)

Rumor has it that the nobel Jedi Knights are based not only on the Knights of the Round Table (King Arthur's Camelot), but are also based on the brave heroes of Les Trois Mousquetaires (1844; English Translation = The Three Musketeers, 1846), the classic and famous novel penned by Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870). (Source: Prof. History)

The Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition are the best selling videos in the U.S.A. for the third straight week and, even after more than 50 weeks in release, the Shadows of the Empire video game, for the Nintendo 64, is still one of the Top 5 most rented video games. (Source: Blind Keeper)

The Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition Total Worldwide Box-Office Performance:

Star Wars $ 258.4 million (Worldwide)

The Empire Strikes Back $ 119.1 million (Worldwide)

Return of the Jedi $ 82.4 million (Worldwide)

(Source: Zero)

9 - 26 - 97

It is rumored that AT-PT (All-terrain personal transports) will appear in the prequels. These were never seen in the original trilogy. (Source: Wayward Wind)

Get ready for a ton of new and unique "midget-sized" characters, creatures and droids. Lucas is a staunch believer that "size does not matter." There will be dozens of Yoda's race in the prequel. (Source: Blind Keeper)

John Williams is currently submitting "rough" versions (piano only versions) of the music that Williams has composed for the prequel to Lucas. Lucas wants an even grander and more operatic "feel" to the prequels than the trilogy. Williams expects to get a version of the prequel in late 1998 and at that time will record the music, matching the tempo of the music to the tempo of the scenes, with a full orchestra. The CD soundtrack will be released as a double CD. (Source: Razor) (Ed. Note: The original opening fanfare (the legendary Star Wars theme) will be used for the prequels)

9 - 25 - 97

For the last time, Ben "Obi-Wan" Kenobi is not a clone and is not cloned during the prequels. The light Jedi are obstinantly opposed to the cloning of sentient (i.e., intelligent) life forms. One of the reasons the Jedi become so weak and so vulnerable is that they refuse to clone themselves, as a matter of principle, during the prequels, even when they might be saved by replenishing their numbers by replicating themselves through cloning. (Source: Confidential Lucasfilm Insider)

The Jedi and the Jedi Council are based loosely on the noble and chivalrous King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table of the Camelot Legend. (H.B.)

The Star Wars Insider will be offering another exclusive action figure in 1998. The identity of this figure has not been announced yet. (Source: Dan M.)

9 - 24 - 97

Rumor has it that at the beginning of the prequel we are going to see a large number of various droids like astromech droids (R2-D2 types) and protocol droids (C3PO types). Some of these droids will look familiar, but many, many of these droids will be ones that have never been seen in the Star Wars universe before. And we will all be guessing which ones are the new R2 and C3PO. Allegedly, Lucas will not reveal the true identities of R2 and C3PO until they literally "run into each other" during a spectacular action sequence. So the first time you see the prequel, it will be "fun" to try to guess which of the new droids we see on the screen are the real R2 and C3PO. (Source: Vecton)

Rumor from the Leavesden Studio set in England is that Lucas has so many characters and scenes that he wants to film and include in the prequel that the running time of the prequel would be almost four hours if he included all of them (and that is way too long for a commercial theatrical release). So Lucas is going to film nearly four hours worth of movie time and then in the editing room he is going to "chop" this down to a running time of approximately 150 or so minutes. After the prequel ends its release at the cineplexes, Lucas will then release two versions of the prequel on video cassette: the theatrical version (150 or so minutes long) and the deluxe prequel edition (having a running time of nearly 240 minutes). So the big question now is which of the scenes that Lucas will film will make it into the film version of the prequel and which scenes will end up in the deluxe prequel video cassette edition. (Source: Shadow Blade, Dan M., Battle Run)