‘Star Wars VII’ Roundup: Simon Pegg In-Or-Out, Episode 8 Director Teases, & Mark Hammil Talks Episode 7 Cast & Crew
The casting, characters, and outrageous rumors for J.J. Abrams‘ Star Wars: Episode VII continue to multiply like hungry, horny tribbles on the Internet. Sometimes I feel like Captain James Tiberius Kirk, standing under that storage door in Deep Space Station K7 covered in dead and dying tribbles, wondering how I ever got there, and who the hell is going to clean this mess up. I guess there’s no other way except rolling up those golden sleeves and getting to it. We’ve got Simon Pegg once again confusing and confounding fans about his possible involvement in the franchise, Some words from the confirmed director of Episode VIII, and the man himself, Mark Hamill discussing how wonderful the cast and crew of Star Wars Episode VII are.
The Pegg Star Wars rumor was once again pumped full of life when Benedict Cumberbatch used Pegg as a means to deflect any hint of his own involvement in Episode VII. When asked if he and director J.J. Abrams had talked about being in the movie Cumberbatch said:
J.J. and I are friends, so yeah, possibly. But I think J.J. is very good at creating something original out of something known, and I think apart from his continuing use of Simon Pegg — and who can blame him, frankly — it made sense not to do it.
While Cumberbatch doesn’t rule out eventually joining the Star Wars franchise, he does pretty much slam the door on Episode VII. What’s interesting is his use of Simon Pegg as a sort of Internet Deflection Technique. Of course, everyone immediately jumped to the conclusion that Cumberbatch was confirming that Pegg was in Episode VII, but watch the video and make up your own mind about it.
Eventually someone had to get to Pegg and ask the question directly. Vulture stepped into the fray and asked Pegg about Cumberbatch’s comment. After acknowledging what Cumberbatch said, Pegg went on to say:
Well, J.J. uses me in different roles, and we’re good friends. I feel like my face in Star Wars would pop people out of the movie. Look, I love Star Wars, and I don’t want people to watch and go, Oh, there’s Simon Pegg’s face. The film is cleverly cast with these amazing, unknown actors.
Man, Pegg can dance the movie rumor dance with the best of them. Thankfully the interviewer was just as confused as the rest of us with that statement and followed up with, “So you’re not in the movie?”
[Smiles.] Of course I visited the set. It’s amazing, and I love Star Wars. I want to see everything happening. It looks wonderful, and you need to believe those characters. Any type of stunt casting might just pop you out of the movie.
Well, he manages to continue to sidestep the question at hand. Does this mean one way or the other that he is in the movie? Not really, he might not be able contractually to say, or he might like keeping this going, as it does make interviews interesting for him.
Rian Johnson (Looper) has been tapped to direct Star Wars Episode VIII and rumored to help write Episode IX. He was recently asked about the job and said:
The thought of it made me so completely joyfully happy…I wanted to play in this world, of literally the first movie my dad put me in the car to see.
I really like what Johnson did with Looper and think his directing style will work well with the Star Wars franchise. I’m interested to find out what Star Wars characters he wants to work with and what Star Wars stories he wants to tell.
Mark Hamill recently popped into the Guardians of the Galaxy UK premiere in London in all his scraggly bearded Jedi Master glory.Of course the red carpet questions quickly turned to Star Wars Episode VII to which Hamill said:
It was certainly unexpected — I already had a beginning, middle and end; I never thought we’d come back, to go on to those sets that evoked so many memories, it is just astonishing.
I thought even if they did a third trilogy, we wouldn’t be involved, because it is really about the new generation of characters. We are just there to lend our support and grow contractually obligated beards.
When asked about Harrison Ford‘s on set injury:
It was really terrible, but I hear he’s doing really well. It will take more than that to stop Harrison Ford!
What does Hamill think about all the new cast members joining the Star Wars franchise?
They are so talented. They are all so diverse — there are people I recognize, like Andy Serkis, and new people that I’ve never seen before, like Daisy Ridley. But they are so good. I’m thinking of asking them for advice; I don’t want to give any myself!
When asked about missing this year’s SDCC Hamill said:
It’s one of the first Cons I’ve missed in years, I’m a comic book nerd myself so I miss all you guys! Hopefully I’ll be back next year.
I’m really looking forward to seeing Hamill as the older Luke Skywalker, taking on the role as Jedi master. Will we see him talking with his former teachers Ben and Yoda in astral form? What Star Wars element are you most looking forward to seeing?