The Dark Side Prequel Rumors

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Star Wars-----Balance (Secrets, Republic or Freedom) of the Force-----Episode 1

Type of film: Fantasy/Action/Adventure/Science Fiction/Drama

Production: Phase one of the Star Wars: Episode One film shoot is complete (filming completed in Italy, in Tunisia and at Leavesden Studio in England for 1997); 45 % of the digital special effects have been completed by I.L.M. (I.L.M. is still trying to perfect some of the digital-effects technology needed to capture Lucas' "vision" on the silver screen)

Release: Tuesday, May 25, 1999 (Source: The Star Wars Insider Magazine, Issue # 35, 1 - 800 - TRUE - FAN: "We are always one step ahead of the internet.")

Cast:

Ewan McGregor as Ben "Obi-Wan" Kenobi; Jake Lloyd as Anakin Skywalker; Natalie Portman as Princess Shallon; Liam Neeson as Nevin Skywalker; Samuel Jackson as Socuto; Pernilla August as Maran Skywalker; Frank Oz as Yoda; Kenny Baker as R2-D2; Terence Stamp as Chancelor of the Galaxy; Celia Imrie as Beru Lars; Ralph Brown as Owen Lars; Ford Davies as Senator Veers; Hugh Quarshie as Senator Needa; Ray Park as Rean Kenobi; Jerome Blake as Brannon Skywalker (Source: Cinescape Magazine)

Companies involved:

LucasFilm; I.L.M. (Industrial Light and Magic); T.H.X.; Skywalker Sound

Budget:

$ 65 to $ 75 million

Distributor:

20th Century Fox (has the contractual right to equal or better any offer made by another studio), DreamWorks S.K.G., Sony, Warner Brothers (or the Hollywood Studio that bids the highest for the rights to distribute the prequel(s))

9 - 23 - 97

A Lucasfilm insider gives us a little insight on how part of the Lucasfilm mis-information campaign is going to operate: Certain prequel photos of sets and vehicles will appear on the Official Prequel Site while other photos will end up on the pages of the Star Wars Insider (1 - 800 - TRUE - FAN) and the Star Wars Galaxy Magazine (published by Topps). And other photos will be sent in by Lucasfilm "spies" to various web sites on the internet. Hence, we will all think we are seeing "big" leaks, but we will actually be going on a wild goose chase. For the most part, the substance of these photos will be insignificant and will not reveal important details of the prequel. And none of them will spoil the great "surprises" that Lucas has in store for us. While some of the sets that appear in the prequel will be familiar to us because we saw them on the internet, etc. first, the dialogue and action that occur on these sets will remain a complete mystery until the prequel is seen in the theatres. (Source: Confidential Lucasfilm Insider)(Ed. Note: If you don't want your prequel experience "spoiled" at all, then don't view any of the prequel photos. Only Lucas knows which ones are real and which ones are misleading.)

9 - 22 - 97

Trying to guess which of the older-style droids, newly created by the Lucasfilm prop department, is See-Threepio (C3PO) is seemingly going to be impossible. Lucas is filming scenes involving protocal droids, but some of the droid voices are being supplied by Lucasfilm staffers (standing just outside of the camera frame) and not the actors in the suits, which means the actual voice will be added later in the editing room by Lucas. Anthony Daniels has not been present at Leavesden Studio. So if he is involved in the prequel (i.e., as the voice of the new C3PO) then Lucas is guarding this secret intensely. (Source: Shadow Blade)

The miniature models (of fighters, cruisers and other vehicles) being scanned and digitally recorded into the workstations at I.L.M. number into the hundreds. Lucas will not decide which of these C.G.I. (computer generated image)-created vehicles to include in the prequel until he sees how they look in their final C.G.I. format. Most of the physical miniature-models are basic in construction and not very detailed or well-sculpted. But once the miniature is in the computer databanks, the various I.L.M. programmers can then enhance the scanned-model image digitally. Hence, a drab space cruiser scanned into the workstations becomes quite spectacular once the Lucasfilm computer "artists" have finished with it. (Source: HAL2001)

Kenner is planning to release a Lord Darth Vader (with removable helmet) action figure (showing the scarred face of Anakin Kenobi) sometime in 1998. (Source: Vecton)

There is a quiet rumor at Lucasfilm that a special edition of Raiders of the Lost Ark is in the planning stages. Certain dated special effects shots are to be re-done and enhanced. And the film negative and original sound are to be restored, remastered and enhanced. The restoration of Raiders would be funded by Paramount Studios (the original distributors of Raiders in 1981) with a theatrical-release date set for 2001 (the twentieth-anniversary celebration of Raiders of the Lost Ark). (Source: Dan M.)

9 - 21 - 97

The Official Star Wars Prequel Site has this to say about Lucasfilm and prequel mis-information:

As Episode I comes together, we are witnessing an experimental new style of filmmaking in action. Director George Lucas' approach to the creation of Star Wars: Episode I has made the creative aspects of this production significantly more free-form than large-scale productions are accustomed to. Lucas has always emphasized the power of the editing room to shape a film, but in the case of Episode I that power will be especially strong.

Many scenes for Episode I begin to take shape with a rough video cut of the action and pacing - "animatics," or scene sketches created from footage such as rough models, computer elements, and actor stand-ins (often personnel handy in the hallways at ILM or Skywalker Ranch, sometimes holding broomstick lightsabers). This rough cut can be modified like a pencil concept sketch, quickly and easily on Avid non-linear editing equipment, where shots can be cut, pasted, and rearranged just like words on a computer screen.

The animatics provide a flexible blueprint for filming. Footage shot each day here on the soundstages of Leavesden Studio can be cut into the animatics, allowing Lucas to consider how well the shots work in the context of a scene's flow. This will lead to additional shooting and writing of scenes.

Lucas intends to carry creative flexibility to an unusual degree with Episode I. The shooting schedule includes plans to re-assemble the production crew in 1998 for shoots of additional elements and possibly the shooting of entire scenes if the evolving story suggests new directions. Everything from character names to plot points remain subject to later change. "So much of what this movie is remains only in George's head at this time," commented a co-worker on the set, "and as he has told us, that may really become something different before the film takes its final form."

This will hardly be the first time that Lucas has kept his creative options open. Luke Skywalker was originally written as a girl, and was later named Luke Starkiller all the way up until the first day of shooting for the original Star Wars. Key plot elements of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi changed drastically in the editing room when "actual" dialogue was dubbed over the "prop" dialogue spoken by some actors from the shooting scripts.

Whether the same sorts of security measures are being taken with Episode I our director (not surprisingly) refuses to confirm, though we can admit that "there are rumors" of misleading scenes being filmed for the preservation of mystery, as well as multiple versions of the shooting script with alternative names and scenes. Of 'leaks,' Lucas will only say "don't count on it until you see the movie." (Source: The Official Star Wars Prequel Site)

9 - 20 - 97

Some at I.L.M. are claiming that Lucas is trying to "stuff" so many C.G.I. effects and other special effects in the prequel that it will take many, many viewings at the theatre to take everything in. Some of the C.G.I. scenes on Coruscant and the Republic Senate literally will have several thousand individual characters and creatures on the screen at one time. (Source: Imperial Snitch)

The prequel script is steeped in secrecy and security that would make the Pentagon proud. Rumor has it that the prequel has been printed on dark-colored paper which cannot be easily duplicated by photo copiers. In addition to this security measure, the prequel script is only being released in short sections to the actors and members on the set with "mis-information" contained in some of these script sections. (Source: Bob W.)

Lucasarts has finally announced that Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II will be available in-stores October 9. Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, sequel to the award-winning and phenomenally successful Dark Forces(R), features intense single and multiplayer gameplay. For the first time in a Star Wars game, players can battle with lightsabers and gain strength by using the Force, while navigating through a variety of immersive environments. This game is rumored to contain secret information about the prequel. (Source: Shadow Blade)

Star Wars: The New Rebellion by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (Bantam Spectra) (F) (P) $5.99 is the 39th best-selling book in the United States this week up from # 67 last week. (Source: Palo Alto)

9 - 19 - 97

The aquatic battle in the prequel(s) will involve V-wing fighters used by the Republic. The V-wings will be able to hover a few feet above water and will also to be able to dive into the water as attack submarines. (Source: The Time Runner)

The Sith will appear in the prequel as dark Jedi. Though their numbers will be small, their legendary status for pure evil makes them a fearsome opponent for the Jedi Knights. (Source: HAL2001).

Liam Neeson's character is alleged to die in the prequel because he saves the life of another major character in the film. (Souce: Final Resurrection)

The Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition has been the best selling video cassettes for the past 2 weeks in the USA. (Source: Blind Keeper)

Kenner will soon release a Biggs Darklighter (Luke's friend in A New Hope) action figure. (Source: Sundown)

The largest pre-order of Halloween costumes in history is for Lord Darth Vader. Over 4 million Darth Vader masks and suits have been ordered by retail stores in North America. (Source: LiamUK1)

9 - 18 - 97

Excerpt from WIZARD: The Guide to Comics, # 74, October 1997 (1 - 914 - 268 - 3594), interview by Matthew Senreich with Anthony Daniels (who performed as C3PO in the trilogy): " I have been in fairly long discussion with [Lucasfilm]," teases Daniels. "But we'll have to wait and see . . . It is in my mind unprofessional to give away any secrets. It's like saying to a child, 'Do you want to know what you are getting for Christmas? You are getting a new bike.' It kills the surprise. Frankly, I won't tell a thing." (Source: Matthew Senreich, writer for WIZARD: The Guide to Comics)(Ed. Note: Thanks Matt !)

9 - 17 - 97

In the original development of Star Wars, Lucas envisioned See-Threepio as having the demeanor, characteristics and voice of a used-car salesman. However, when Lucas heard Anthony Daniels perform for the role of C3PO, Lucas decided to go with the gentleman-butler-type droid instead. Since Lucas rarely discards prior film ideas, C3PO may be a conman/flim-flam man/shyster type of droid in the prequel, to add comic relief to the prequel similar to the role C3PO served in the trilogy. (Source: H.B., Battle Run, Sundown, LiamUK1, Todd Rudisell)

I.L.M. is struggling to put Lucas' vision on the screen. It is rumored that for one film sequence Lucas want

9 - 16 - 97

The Star Wars Insider Magazine (1 - 800 - TRUE - FAN; published 6 times a year now) is planning on expanding its coverage of the prequel production. The Insider is planning to include in-depth interviews with Lucas, McCallum, McGregor, Neeson, Portman, Chiang, Sansweet and various other people involved with the production. And in the next few months, the Insider will publish exclusive pictures of some of the new creatures that have never been seen before in the Star Wars Universe. (Source: Shadow Blade)

Every major/minor Hollywood Studio is currently in contact with Lucas concerning the distribution rights to the prequel(s). Some studios are willing to take a small financial loss ($ 20 to $ 30 million) to secure these rights because the studio that controls which cineplexes get the prequel can twist the cineplexes' arms to get more money and better, bigger screens for their other films. (Source: Vecton)

Rumor has it that Anthony Daniels has signed to play the voice of 3PO for at least one of the prequels, but this is being kept confidential to build suspense (Ed. Note: ?). Daniels will explain, in the next few months, in his Star Wars Insider column what his role, if any, in the prequel(s) will be. (Source: Alex Roth) The reason that Daniels may not be needed for Episode One is that Rick McCallum has stated that we see "the beginnings of See-Threepio" in the prequel. (Source: Flasher 3)(Ed. Note: Whatever that means; vagueness is a popular Lucasfilm theme, but it is hard to imagine a 3PO that is not a wise-cracking, know-it-all).

9 - 15 - 97

The battle for the rights to distribute the prequel(s) is at fever pitch: Lucas' demands (the highest ever asked for) = 95 % (perhaps 100 %) of the prequel box office gross for the first week, 85 % for the second week, 75 % for the third week, etc. (Ed. Note: This means Lucas gets 95 % of the box-office loot and the studio and theatre owners split the other 5 %. Theatre owners we've spoke to on the phone state that the concession stand business and spill-over business to other films showing with the prequel will more than make up for Lucas getting most of the box-office take.) But any deal with Lucas is well, well worth it to the studio because; in exchange, the studio that earns the right to distribute the prequel(s) will have tremendous leverage over theatres with regard to $$$$ issues involving its other films.(Source: Vecton)

9 - 14 - 97

Realistically, no one should expect a prequel trailer (in the theatres) until Christmas 1998. (Source: Extreme Zealot)

Lucas will use the $ 241 million plus that he has made off the theatrical re-release of the trilogy to pay for the prequels (which will likely cost over $ 200 million collectively). (Source: Sundown)

9 - 13 - 97

I.L.M. is awaiting the finishing of live-action filming so that Lucas can return for hands on supervision of the digital effects. While satellite communications permit Lucas to supervise I.L.M's work from a distance, the I.L.M.-ers make the most progress when Lucas is actually there to spur them on. (Source: Vecton)

Rough digital "story boards" for all three prequels have been completed. The secret to completing the prequel on time and on budget is to strictly follow the "story board" without making costly additional filming. This same technique was used by Spielberg when he was filming The Lost World for under $ 75 million. (Source: Blind Keeper)

I.L.M. is helping James Cameron and Digital Domain with minor digital special-effects shots for Titanic In return, Digital Domain will share certain revolutionary advances in digital filmmaking that Digital Domain has created while working on the $ 200 million Titanic film. (Source: LiamUK1)

9 - 12 - 97

The following characters are rumored to make an appearance in the prequels: Needa, Veers, Tagge, Lobot, Xizor, Thrawn, EV-9D9, IG-88 Assassin droids, Lumat, Yak Face, Teebo, Ramba, Warok, Thall Joben, Chewbacca and others. (Source: Shadow Blade)

9 - 11 - 97

The latest Fett rumor circulating is that Boba Fett makes his"big" appearance in Episode 3. And gets his moniker as the "most fearsome bounty hunter in the galaxy," by being the greatest hunter and slayer of Jedi during the third prequel. His motivation for slaying the Jedi is rumored to be both money and revenge. (Source: Vecton)

Lucas is considering releasing a pre-prequel trilogy of novels. These books contain the history of the Republic leading up to the opening of the prequel. The first book is rumored to be published on June 1998, the second book is tentatively scheduled for a November 1998 release and the final pre-prequel novel is rumored to be released April 1999 and then followed by the theatrical release of the prequel on May 21, 1999 (Source: H.B.)

Lucas is close to approving a saturday-morning cartoon based on events and characters that exist six months after the end of Return of the Jedi. The most likely producer of this cartoon series is the 20th Century Fox Televison Division under the watchful eye of Lucasfilm. (Source: Blind Keeper)

9 - 10 - 97

Rumor has it that there will be various Corellian freightors (the one's that look like the Millenium Falcon) in the prequels. And the big question (that will not be directly answered in the prequels) will be which of these new Corellian freighters is the old one that turns up as the Falcon in the trilogy? The answer: closely scrutinize the exterior of each of these freighters to figure out which is the real Falcon. You may have to view the prequels several dozen times at the theater to solve this and many other mysteries that Lucas will "hide" in the prequel(s). (Source: Battle Run)

3PO is rumored to be a FEMALE protocol droid in the prequels. This is why Anthony Daniels voice may not be needed for 3PO in the prequels (Source: Final Resurrection)

There will not be a prequel trailer (teasers seen at theatres prior to the feature film attraction) released in 1997. (Source: Confidential Informant at Lucasfilm)

9 - 9 - 97

It is rumored that the battle tank seen on the official prequel site is one of the vehicles that did not "make the cut" when it came for Lucas to choose which vehicles to choose to include in the prequel. (Source: Todd Rudisell)(NOTE: Or it may not show up in the first prequel and is being used as a clever decoy)

The means of 3D photographic-projection as a means of communication (i.e. R2-D2's 3D-projected message of Princess Leia to General Obi-Wan) does not exist during the time frame of the prequel. Instead, the individuals living during the prequel communicate by the more primitive means of 2-dimensional images projected on a monitor (Source: H.B.)

The irony for Lucas is that while the technology of I.L.M. gets more advanced; the technology that is actually seen in the prequel is suppose to look less advanced, than the technology used by the Alliance and the Empire in the trilogy. (Souce: HAL2001)

Lucas is opposed to using graphic violence to portray the battle of the Jedi against the Mandalorian in the Clone Wars. Lucas wants to preserve a PG rating to maximize the box office potential of the prequels (Source: Blind Keeper)

Lucas may consider releasing a "special" director's cut on video cassette of the prequels showing graphic violence (R-rated version)(Source: Balance)

9 - 8 - 97

You heard it here first: the spectacular water battle of the prequel will occur on the legendary water world called SEDRI. (Source: Confidential Lucasfilm Source) Thanks for this scoop, I owe you one !

The Star Wars Insider Magazine (1 - 800 - TRUE - FAN) will soon have an exclusive interview with George Lucas explaining why he is allowing so much of the prequel set and props to be seen. He may also drop "hints" as to the plotline of the prequel. (Source: Dan M.)

Lucas is planning to release a pre-prequel novel which details the events which occur just prior to the opening of the prequel. This novel will help to explain just exactly what is going on when the prequel begins with a bang (Source: Blind Keeper)

9 - 7 - 97

Yoda's race of aliens are very prominent in the prequel. Yoda turns out to be short for his race, but uses his mastery of the Force to obtain great respect on his homeworld. (Source: Shadow Blade)

Lord Darth Vader has an older version of his black mask, suit and cape in Episode 3. It is sleeker, more sinister and "cooler" than that seen in the trilogy (Source: H.B.)

As a child, Anakin is an angel and, as a young man, he is an extremely benevolent gentleman. Of the major characters in the prequels, he is the last one that you would suspect that would fall prey to the dark side. (Source: Alex Roth)

The next Star Wars Insider Magazine (1 - 800 - TRUE - FAN) is going to have an exclusive feature showing the most amazing and in-depth prequel photos of Leavesden studios yet. The magazine will feature more and better photos of the props and sets seen on the Prequel Site and will show sets never before seen anywhere. Some of the sets that will be featured will not be seen until Episode 2 or 3. (Source: Dan M.)

9 - 6 - 97

Reliable Lucasfilm source indicates that the battle tank pic depicted on the official web site is misinformation (Source: Confidential Lucasfilm Informant)

While it is true that Anakin owns a R2 unit as a child, it is not the same one we see in the trilogy. Millions of blue R2 units exist in the prequel (Source: Sundown)

Lucasarts prequel games are scheduled to be released Christmas 1998 and will not disclose the plot of the prequels (?) (Source: Flexster)

The rise of the Emperor and his minions mirrors the rise of the Nazis in Germany (Source: Battle Run)

9 - 5 - 97

Mattel, Inc. has so far offered Lucasfilm the most lucrative "toy" merchandising arrangement (Source: Kevin G.)

Palpatine competes with Anakin for the young Queen's hand in marriage (Source: Vecton)

Either Alderaan or Coruscant is the young Queen's home planet (Source: HAL 2001)

Tarkin will be Palpatine's best friend in the prequels and advises Palpatine on how to seize the throne of the Republic (Source: Shadow Blade)

Kenobi has an affair with Anakin's wife in Episode 2 (Source: Blind Keeper)

Lucas is promising to re-master the trilogy digitally for a 30th anniversary theatrical release to make the trilogy look as good as the prequels. The cheap and hoaky backgrounds of the trilogy will be replaced with virtual sets and several new scenes will be created and inserted (Source: H.B.)

9 - 4 - 97

A plethora of rumors in today:

The debate whether the prequel will be released in 1998 or 1999 is no debate at all. Our Lucasfilm source emphatically states that the prequel definitely WILL not be released until Memorial Day Week 1999. And here is the explanation why:

" Mr. Lucas is currently negotiating with Mattel, Hasbro and Galoob for rights to the prequels toy merchandising. What is known is that Mr. Lucas began negotiating with these companies early in 1997. He was supposed to have selected a company in the spring, but postponed the decision. He is expected to wrap up the deal no later than September, giving the manufacturer the needed 18 months to produce the merchandise by the Memorial Day 1999 release of the first movie." (Source: Confidential Lucasfilm Insider) It is going to be a long wait, which means only a mere 630 days to post more rumors . . .

The 21 months until the release of the prequels gives I.L.M. more breathing room to perfect its pioneering digital technology. There are a few special effects shots that I.L.M cannot pull off to Lucas's satisfaction (i.e., seamlessly integrating dozens of fully C.G.I. creatures with live action shots, space battles involving thousands of fighters and cruisers on the screen at the same time, thousands and thousands of C.G.I. warriors battling on a land battleground at the same time.) (Source: Blind Keeper)

Palpatine has Liam Neeson's character (Anakin's father) murdered in the second prequel to prevent Liam from bringing Anakin back from the dark side. (Shadow Blade, HAL2001)

The exterior sets currently under construction at Leavesden Studies will only be skeletal sets. The computer whizzes at I.L.M. will add the bulk of the visual aspects of the sets through their revolutionary "virtual sets" techniques. (Source: LiamUK1)

Lucas is finishing up his location shooting in Tunisia. Scenes for both Episode Two and Three are/have been filmed in Tunisia and Italy to prevent Lucas from having to return for additional and expensive filming for the second and third prequels. (Source: Guy suffering in the Tunisian heat)

9 - 3 - 97

The opening fanfare (the Star Wars opening theme song) to the prequel will be the same as in the trilogy. John Williams has composed, but yet to record theme music for the following: the Mandalorian super-commandos, Anakin Skywalker, Ben Kenobi, the young Queen, Battle on the Sea, Emperor's theme, Deception in the Senate and others. The actual recording of the prequel music will not occur until Lucas delivers Williams with a rough cut of the prequel so that Williams will know what the appropriate tempo for the music will be (Source: Alex Roth)

Rumor has it that Palpatine has Liam Neeson's character (Anakin's father) murdered in the second episode to end Neeson's attempts to convince Anakin to leave the dark side of the Force and Palpatine (Source: Sundown)

9 - 2 - 97

The following will appear somewhere in the prequels: Corellia, Kessel, Nal Hutta, Mon Calamari and Concord Dawn (Source: HAL2001) . . .For the release of Episode 3, Baby Luke and Leia are rumored to be released as a two-pack similar to the way Kenner released the Jawas as a pair (Source: Chase R.)

9 - 1 - 97

Only theatres with at least one THX enhanced room will be guaranteed a print of the Star Wars prequel. So expect your local cinema to update at least one showing room to THX in the next few months to guarantee themselves a print of the Prequel (if they don't already have a THX room). All other cinemas/multi-plexes will have to fight it out among themselves to get a copy of the Prequel. LucasFilm is allegedly going to ask for 95 % of the box office take for the first 4 weeks of the Prequel's release and will also be asking for a piece of the concession revenues (which is unheard of in the movie industry).

Some theatres, with 5 screens or less, are planning to show the Prequel in all their rooms for the first month of the film's release. The Prequel will be shown 24 hours-a-day, at most locations, for as long as demand justifies it. However, since LucasFilm is planning to release a record 7,700 prints (the current record for most prints released for a film is 5,000 for this summer's The Lost World: Jurassic Park) of the Prequel to theatre owners it seems highly unlikely that any theatre that wants the Prequel will be turned down. (Source: Shadow Blade)

The Prequel will have a running time of over 150 minutes, which would make it the longest Star Wars film. (Source: Vecton)


Send rumors to SuperShadow . . . Corrections to Vespon . . . Suggestions to Eon