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July 25, 1997 - Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace / results of press conference

Scooped on Saturday, November 26, 2011

Well, now that the Caserta press conference has come and gone, we should have more information about the first of the new Star Wars films, right? Wrong.

George Lucas and Rick McCallum didn't answer any of the pressing questions, such as what Episode One's title is, what the name of Natalie Portman's character is, or where the Caserta footage will be seen in the film (Coruscant?) What we got to read about is George Lucas' thoughts about shooting on digital means rather than film (he's looking into it), the standard Indiana Jones IV response (they're still working on it) and some vague answers about what's going to be in the new movie (some digital creatures.) In our eyes, only two significant answers were addressed about the new film and its storyline:

  1.  A rumor started that got repeated on Harry Knowles Ain't It Cool page a while back: the much-anticipated lightsaber duel between Obi-Wan and Anakin over the lip of an active volcano will be filmed nearby the Royal Palace, at the edge of the Vesuvio volcano. Lucas denied that this will be taking place during their shoot.

  2.  Lucas denied that his friend Steven Spielberg will be directing any of the following prequels. This would kill the rumor Entertainment Weekly printed in their recent Star Wars Special magazine.

Absolutely nothing was mentioned about other characters, their names, or additional scenes showing up in the prequels. We're starting to get the impression that if anyone else wants to cover the prequels and you're not Leonard Maltin or involved with Entertainment Tonight, you're not invited inside.

So leave it up to a Mr. David Letterman to break the weekend's only really good Star Wars news nugget. On his Friday program, actor Samuel L. Jackson stopped by to talk about his new feature, 187. At the conclusion of the interview, Letterman asked him what he was doing next. Jackson answered that after completing his work on Tarantino's Jackie Brown picture he'll be working on the new Star Wars film.

Remember, Lucasfilm has only bothered to officially confirm three actors involved with the prequels: Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman and Jake Lloyd. Even though they have a photograph of Liam Neeson up on their site and he's in the running for the Jedi Mentor role, he hasn't been confirmed.

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