Movie Maniac

March 10, 2013

Lucas says ‘Star Wars’ cast will be back in new film

There was a strange disturbance in the Force this week, as more rumors swirled around the new “Star Wars” film that has the genius temporary title of “Episode VII.”

There was a strange disturbance in the Force this week, as more rumors swirled around the new “Star Wars” film that has the genius temporary title of “Episode VII.”

First, Carrie Fisher told Palm Beach Illustrated that she has signed on to reprise her role as Princess Leia, joking that “she’s in an intergalactic old folks’ home.”

Then her publicist told CNN that Fisher “was joking. Nothing has been announced.”

Then, on Thursday, word came from someone who just might have an insider connection: George Lucas. In a long interview with Bloomberg Businessweek about Disney’s purchase of LucasFilm and the “Star Wars” universe, Lucas casually let slip that all the main actors – Fisher, Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford – will indeed be returning.

“We had already signed Mark and Carrie and Harrison – or we were pretty much in final stages of negotiation,” Lucas said.

But then he added: “Maybe I’m not supposed to say that. I think they want to announce that with some big whoop-de-do, but we were negotiating with them.”

And then he backtracked a little:

“I won’t say whether the negotiations were successful or not.”

Yeah, right. Like any of the actors would pass on another “Star Wars” paycheck. Of course, none of this is officially confirmed by Disney. Neither are rumors that the new film would be about the offspring of Luke, Leia and Han. “Episode VII” is tentatively scheduled to reach theaters by 2015 – they better get to it; that’s not so far, far away.

It’ll be nice to see the old gang again, though, even if they are older.

Wonder who the new villain will be. Darthritis?

Upcoming event – Dust off those tuxedos, because the Tallgrass Film Association, the group that annually holds the Tallgrass Film Festival, will host a James Bond-themed event as a fundraiser.

“Shaken Not Stirred” will be held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. March 27 at Abode Venue, 1330 E. Douglas.

The event will include a martini competition featuring bartenders from some of Wichita’s favorite watering holes: the Anchor, Heroes, Larkspur, the Monarch, Mort’s, Public and Taste & See. Each bartender will create a signature “shaken, not stirred” martini for a panel of judges. Attendees also will vote.

Celebrity tasters include Joe Schlimm of the Bar’s Open, Barry Schwan of House of Schwan and my colleague, Denise Neil of The Eagle. The winner of the competition will receive a trophy, a cash prize and will have his or her cocktail featured as the signature martini during the 11th annual Tallgrass Film Festival in October.

Other highlights of the event will include premium cigars served by Humidor East, food by Larkspur and live entertainment with a Bond twist. Casual dress or Bond-inspired attire is welcome.

Tickets are $77 and can be purchased online at or by calling 316-303-9292. Tickets include a complimentary 2013 membership to the Tallgrass Film Association.

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