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Via: Strange Magic
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Called Strange Magic, the film stars Alan Cumming, Evan Rachel Wood, Kristin Chenowith, and Maya Rudolph, and is to be released on January 23, 2015.

From the press release:

"Strange Magic," a new animated film from Lucasfilm Ltd., will be released by Touchstone Pictures on January 23, 2015. "Strange Magic" is a madcap fairy tale musical inspired by "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Popular songs from the past six decades help tell the tale of a colorful cast of goblins, elves, fairies and imps, and their hilarious misadventures sparked by the battle over a powerful potion. Lucasfilm Animation Singapore and Industrial Light & Magic, which created the CGI animation for 2011's Academy Award®-winning film "Rango," bring to life the fanciful forest turned upside down with world-class animation and visual effects.

With a story by George Lucas, "Strange Magic" is directed by Gary Rydstrom ("Toy Story Toons: Hawaiian Vacation," "Lifted"), produced by Mark S. Miller (associate producer "Mars Attacks!") and executive produced by George Lucas, with a screenplay by David Berenbaum ("Elf"), Irene Mecchi ("Brave," "The Lion King") and Rydstrom. An extraordinary roster of film, television and Broadway stars lend their voices to "Strange Magic," including Alan Cumming (CBS' "The Good Wife," Broadway's "Cabaret"), Evan Rachel Wood ("The Ides of March"), Kristin Chenoweth (Broadway's "Wicked"), Maya Rudolph ("Big Hero 6," "Bridesmaids"), Sam Palladio (ABC's "Nashville"), newcomer Meredith Anne Bull, Alfred Molina ("Chocolat"), Elijah Kelley ("Hairspray," "The Butler"), Bob Einstein (HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm") and Peter Stormare ("Fargo"). Well-known music producer Marius de Vries ("Moulin Rouge") serves as both the musical director and composer.
Via: Charlie Rose
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The great George Lucas does not care about your needs, simple fan; he wants only to deliver the plot.

When discussing being approached about Star Wars VII, Lucas revealed that the team behind the film saw his stories, but scrapped them in favor of something that might actually please movie-goers:

They looked at the stories and they said 'we want to make something for the fans,' so I said 'all I wanted to do was tell a story-- what happened, you know, it started here and went there. It's all about generations and issues of fathers and sons and grandfathers; it's a family soap opera.'

If Lucas' focus on plot getting from a to b and generational soap opera issues doesn't clue you in to why there was a serious lack of meaningful development in the prequels, I don't know what will. Thank you for the Star Wars universe, George, but maybe your departure was for the best. 


P.S. If you haven't yet heard the way Lucas describes his "breakup" with the series, this is worth a watch. As much as we all give him grief for the prequels, letting go seems like a really painful process, and he deserves a lot of credit for being so graceful about it.

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Via: starwars.com
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Kenny Baker was an essential part of the Star Wars saga. Baker truly brought R2-D2 to life, and we all find ourselves in mourning over his death at 81 years old. George Lucas shared the following in tribute to the late actor's passing:

“Kenny Baker was a real gentleman as well as an incredible trooper who always worked hard under difficult circumstances,” said Lucas. “A talented vaudevillian who could always make everybody laugh, Kenny was truly the heart and soul of R2-D2 and will be missed by all his fans and everyone who knew him.”



LucasFilm President Kathleen Kennedy also added, “We’re all saddened to learn of Kenny’s passing,” said Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. “There is no Star Wars without R2-D2, and Kenny defined who R2-D2 was and is. He will be greatly missed.”