No hiccups in the "Star Wars" schedule

Geez, I’m crossing my fingers that Episode III is going to be good. I mean admit it, George made better movies when he had no money. But having said that, he could surprise us all and deliver a welcomed kick-ass end to the current prequel trilogy. Producer Rick McCallum told the official Star Wars Homing Beacon newsletter that it’s full speed ahead on the film. "We get our preliminary first draft of the script next week, which we’re very excited about," says McCallum, who is currently overseeing the preparation of Fox Studios in Sydney, Australia. In just over two months, the stages of the motion picture facility will be the used for shooting "Episode III".

"We’re currently on schedule to begin on or around June 30, finishing some time in September," says McCallum. Already, the crew down under has enough information from George Lucas to begin construction of environments, props and costumes.

"After that George will be rewriting to a more formal first draft and will keep revising right up until the start of shooting," adds McCallum. "The story he wants to tell is firmly in his head. All the details are stored away in there, without a lot of influence from anyone else. He’s been talking a lot about how this movie fits with Episode IV in some very cool and unexpected ways."

It won’t be until the summer (or technically, the southern hemisphere’s winter) that the actors arrive in Australia, but already Stunt Coordinator Nick Gillard has met briefly with both Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor in the US. "Hayden is coming shortly to begin massive rehearsals, stunt rehearsals. We expect Ewan in the next 4-5 weeks. He’s starting to work on all the fight sequences in the movie which I think will be extraordinary," he said.