The Force has awakened
No longer shall next year’s Star Wars instalment be referred to as plain old Episode VII. On Thursday 6 November, the @ starwars Twitter feed revealed a hashtag that will be long remembered – # TheForceAwakens. Okay, it feels a little bit like it’s emerged from a random Star Wars title generator, but we reckon The Force Awakens is a better name than both The Phantom Menace and Attack Of The Clones. Of course, given JJ Abrams’ love of keeping a secret, we have no idea what it actually means, but the branding suggests that the title will be at the forefront of the marketing push – a break with the pattern of the prequels, which hid their names behind Episode I/ II/ III deflector shields.
Principal photography has now wrapped – including, Variety reports, a single action sequence shot on IMAX cameras – but it seems that plenty of big names found their way onto the Pinewood Studios set. Presumably the security was handled by stormtroopers or someone similarly inept.
Benedict Cumberbatch revealed on The Graham Norton Show that he’d paid a visit – we’re not sure if it was for a cameo or to catch up with his old Star Trek chum JJ – and Daniel Radcliffe stopped by too. “The overwhelming atmosphere of the place is just so exciting,” said a man who knows a fair bit about blockbuster movie franchises. “For Harrison Ford, who has been doing these films for so long, to be so excited about the new ones is an amazing sign.”
Beyond Episode VII – sorry, The Force Awakens – it’s been confirmed that Gareth Edwards’ 2016 standalone Star Wars movie will also shoot at Pinewood. And as we get within a year of the new movie’s release, you can fill the urge to see Star Wars on the big screen. On Saturday 13 December, the BFI will host Star Wars Day, with screenings of the original trilogy ( Special Editions, naturally), and some surprise special guests.