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June 2000 News and Rumors

June 30th, 2000 - Friday...

Issue #13 of the Homing Beacon has been sent out to members of the Official Site, containing an interview with Jonathan Hales.

Hales is the co-screenwriter for the second chapter in the Star Wars saga, a role he finds both exhilarating and daunting. "My personal goal was to make it the best screenplay that ever was, so that it will be the best movie that ever was. You just do your very best," Hales explains of his approach. "I tried to forget, in a way, that it was Star Wars, in a sense that I didnít want to think ĎOh my God, there is a world out there waiting to see this stuff.í I just tried to concentrate on it and what it was, and forget about that terrifying dimension thatís out there."

Episode II will add to the Star Wars saga, says Hales, but not just in the form of new characters, aliens, droids and locales. "It will add political complexity," explains Hales, "but it will also add an interesting and a fascinating love story."

June 28th, 2000 - Wednesday...

Casting Update-Joel Edgerton

This comes from the Official Site:

June 29, 2000 -- Announced as "breaking news" last week, Joel Edgerton has been cast in Episode II. For a young actor, Edgerton has a large body of work on the theatrical stage having played King Henry in Henry V, Prince Hal in Henry III, and others including Road, Blackrock, Third World Blues, and Dead White Males. His work also includes television projects such as The Three Stooges telemovie, The Secret Life of Us and Saturn's Return as well as the feature films Praise, Erskinville Kings, Dogwatch and Sample People.

In Episode II, Edgerton will play the role of Owen Lars, the man who will go on to raise Luke Skywalker on Tatooine. Like Ewan McGregor before him, Edgerton will have an older model of his character to pattern his performance after. Phil Brown played the part of Owen in the original Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope.

June 26th, 2000 - Tuesday...

The Journey's First Step!!! Officail Site Info:

June 26, 2000 -- Spirits were high despite the hectic pace of a very busy work schedule on the first day of shooting for Episode II. It was three years ago, to the day, that Episode I began shooting on June 26, 1997. One of the first scenes shot that day involved Senator Palpatine in his apartment on Coruscant. Three years later, Ian McDiarmid reprised his role as Palpatine and a bluescreen-filled set once again became the Republic's capital world.

Some of Episode II's key players freed a moment of their time to give their impressions of Episode II's first day.

Casting Director Robin Gurland: "I felt like it was the first day of school, except I knew everyone in the class."

Editor Ben Burtt: "The thrill for me today was seeing C-3PO reborn. I got to put the faceplate on Anthony Daniels. The character suddenly came alive."

Ahmed Best (Jar Jar Binks), commenting on the dominant color on the set: "It's still very blue!"

Tim Lion, Production Runner: "I felt very weary on the first day of shooting because I danced all night at the pre-shoot party on Saturday and my back is aching! But it was all good fun."

ILM's Animation Director Rob Coleman: "It looks like smooth sailing to me!"

ILM's Jason Snell, Matchmover: "Stop zooming! It's going to make our lives miserable."

Director George Lucas: "It's hard for me to remember if I'm still shooting Episode I, the Special Edition, the DVD, or Episode II."

Interesting, DVD might be on its way finally. Let's hope so!

June 24th, 2000 - Saturday...

Huge Casting News-Click the image for the story!

June 23th, 2000 - Wednesday...

Filming Begins, Casting Children, and Mace Windu

Episode II will start filming on Monday. This comes from the Official Site:

June 21, 2000 -- With George Lucas' arrival in Australia on Monday, the final elements are falling into place so that shooting can begin on Star Wars: Episode II. Principal photography is scheduled to begin June 26, 2000, with Lucas as Director.

According to Producer Rick McCallum, shooting at Fox Studios Australia should wrap around the end of August followed by a month of location shooting in Italy and Tunisia.

Here's some new and interesting info on extras casting. From the Official Site:

June 21, 2000 -- Extras casting director Ros Breden spent Tuesday afternoon in Australia looking for the pre-school-aged extras needed for Star Wars: Episode II. "The process began by calling up all of the kid's agencies in Sydney", said Breden. "We were looking for anyone who would be suitable."

When casting children, casting directors must keep in mind limitations on the length of time the young actors can work. The solution for Episode II is to cast three "sets" of children with matching looks. "Generally, I've been looking for twins," Breden explains. "Then I try to find a third child who is a close match."

When casting adults, finding a wide variety of characters is easy. "For the adults in this film," Breden said, "we've been looking for unusual looks and shapes. However, children of the same age are generally at a similar developmental stage and have lesser variation in look." As such, Breden is seeking children of a variety of genders and races.

Interesting stuff. Why are they casting so many children? Are they Clones? Padawans in training? Time will tell!

Mace Windu to get some action!

Samuel L. Jackson has learned from George Lucas that his character will be involved in a lightsaber duel in Episode 2. Jackson says that he reports to Australia on July 6th.

June 7th, 2000 - Wednesday...

Update - Ray Park not in Episode 2?

IMBD posted an article that explains how Park has finally gotten over NOT being contacted to return for Episode 2. So what exactly is going on here? Could it be some miscommunication? Maybe Park hasn't been contacted yet. Or is this just a huge rumor? I think rumor is the most likely, but we'll wait and see. Keep checking back for Updates!

June 6th, 2000 - Tuesday...

No Darth Maul in Ep. 2, but Ray Park?

"The Big Breakfast (UK TV programme) collared George Lucas and Samuel L. Jackson on their way to a premiere/awards ceremony and managed brief interviews/soundbites with both. Jackson gave a brief interview - stating that he starts work July 6th and that 'he has a real big fight scene'. George Lucas laughed and said that Sam probably knew more about it than him since he hadn't been to Australia yet but that he'd seen some stuff on tape.

He also confirmed (again) that Darth Maul wouldn't be appearing but THAT RAY PARK WOULD BE IN THE FILM IN ANOTHER ROLE!"

I haven't heard the original interview so it might be Ray Park is just helping with the fight scenes. If we are lucky we may see him on screen.

Here's another report:

Lucas, when asked about Samuel's fight scene: "He'd know more about it than me, he's actually done the fight, I just get to see it on tape, I've not been over to Australia yet." (According to 'Onks', Lucas is talking about a video of Samuel practicing the fight scenes.)

When asked about a return by Darth Maul, he said: 'Not a chance, he's gone, out of it. Ray will be in the movie but not as Darth Maul.'

This is by no means official but it sure sounds good! Ray Park would be a great contributor to the fight scenes, even as a choreographer. Keep checking Bantha Poodoo and I'll post more if I hear it!

June 6th, 2000 - Tuesday...

Ruin hits the bookshelves

The alien Yuuzhan Vong have launched an attack on the worlds of the Outer Rim. They are merciless, without regard for life - and they stand utterly outside the Force. Their ever-changing tactics stump the New Republic military. Even the Jedi, once the greatest guardians of peace in the galaxy, are rendered helpless by this impervious foe - and their solidarity has begun to unravel.

While Luke struggles to keep the Jedi together, Knights Jacen Solo and Corran Horn set off on a reconnaissance mission to the planet Garqi, an occupied world. There, at last, they uncover a secret that might be used to undermine the enemy - if only they can stay alive long enough to use it!

Prior News and Rumors--May 24-27

Hayden Christensen Cast as Anakin!!--May 12

Prior News and Rumors--May 1-9

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