Ok, before we start, that image above is the first leaked look at Luke Skywalker in the new movie.
Now, onwards and upwards…
STAR WARS MERCHANDISING:
Try not to be too shocked but it seems the new Star Wars movies will have A LOT of merchandise! Shocker, right?
Lucasfilm have announced collaborations with Covergirl & Max Factor (that’s a first), Duracell, FCA US, General Mills, HP, Subway and Verizon as part of the promotional push for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
“We are thrilled to be working with such a stellar roster of promotional partners. The ‘Star Wars’ brand has endured over the years, across generational audiences because it connects with people in a very special way,” said Lynwen Brennan, General Manager of Lucasfilm, in a press release. “Our partners have all delivered original, stand-out campaigns that capture the familiar fun and excitement of our galaxy far, far away that we hope will delight fans as they get ready to experience ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens.’”
ABRAMS REVEALS HE’LL NOT DIRECT EPISODE IX
Next up, JJ Abrams has revealed to EW that he won’t be directing Star Wars: Episode IX: “No, I’m not going to direct Episode IX as much as I am deeply envious of anyone who gets to work with this group of people on the future movies.” And while Abrams has played a big part in mapping out the storyline going forward, Kathleen Kennedy confirms that there is still plenty of scope for future directors to take things in their own direction…
“We know where we’re going, but only in the broadest sense,” says Kennedy. “When Rian [Johnson] came in and started writing his script, he started from scratch, other than knowing what we had done in Episode VIII and projecting out where it was going. He then sat down and put pen to paper, and it’s 100 percent him.”
In the article it is also revealed that Leia has Darth Vader’s lightsaber in the movie, Kylo-Ren’s mask is modelled on Vader’s and he is connected to the Sith lord… somehow.
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
The director has also be chatting about where the characters’ names came from:
FINN AND REY: John Boyega ‘s Finn, and Daisy Ridley’s Rey still have no surnames revealed… and there’s a reason for that: “it is completely intentional that their last names aren’t public record.” he says.
POE DAMERON: Oscar Isaac’s X-Wing pilot: “Dameron came out because it… just musically felt right. Someone reminded me recently that my daughter had had a polar bear named Poe and that might’ve been why it felt right. There was a kind of sweetness to, and a charm to that name.”
BB-8: The little ball droid is pretty straightforward in the naming: “I named him BB-8 because it was almost onomatopoeia. It was sort of how he looked to me, with the 8, obviously, and then the 2 Bs.”
GENERAL HUX: Domhnall Gleeson’s The First Order big shot’s name is a bit darker in its origins: “[Lawrence Kasdan] and I would walk all over the place when we were breaking the story, and we would record our conversations. We were walking through a cemetery that’s near the Bad Robot offices, and we would often, as we were talking about characters, sort of just be glancing at names to see if any of them stuck. I don’t believe that Hux came from there, but it may have.”
CAPTAIN PHASMA: What about the new chrome Stormtrooper who looks sooooooo badass? “Phasma I named because of the amazing chrome design that came from Michael Kaplan’s wardrobe team. It reminded me of the ball in Phantasm, and I just thought, Phasma sounds really cool,”
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NEW STAR WARS: BATTLEFRONT IMAGE AND DETAILS:
Looks like Star Wars: Battlefront has a new game mode called Supremacy (also, how great is Vader in that image above?). Anyway, Supremacy is a throwback to the older Battlefront games. You have fice points on the map that you must gain control off at any cost and in a certain order: “When you spawn into Supremacy, you don’t have to move far to see a lot of friends – and enemies. You’re thrown into a massive frontline, where your screen is filled with adversaries: infantry, Heroes, Walkers, and starfighters. You can prepare for very heavy and focused Star Wars action,” Lead Level Designer Dennis Brännvall says.
“Using a character like Darth Vader to secure control points is great, as he can take increased damage before going down. Luke Skywalker and Boba Fett are great for moving swiftly between attacking and defensive positions, and giving you the edge against opponents in battle.”
Star Wars Battlefront will be available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on November 17.
SO, WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH THE HAN SOLO MOVIE?
We know a Han Solo movie is scheduled for release on May 25, 2018 and be directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller,written by both Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jon.
– Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy has been chatting about the movie: “There’s got to be a reason for [the stand-alone film] to be… “I think the key here is that we are identifying an event or events in Han Solo’s life that gives you some idea of who he is and why he is the character we have all known to love.”
– Tonally, it sounds great: “You can imagine, given who we’ve chosen to come in and direct, it should be very entertaining and funny. Han Solo is the character inside Star Wars that everybody knows has a wit and sense of humor. So that’s what this should be.”
– But what of Solo himself? “He’ll definitely be probably in the high teens, low 20s… We’re not introducing you to a 10-year-old Han Solo.”
NOW THAT JOSH TRANK IS GONE, WHAT ABOUT THE BOBA FETT MOVIE?
Kathleen Kennedy is open about the movie and “It’s still one of the stories that we absolutely want to tell,” she says. “There is a lot of innovative technology in and around what it is we’re doing with that story, so for a lot of reasons, we were comfortable postponing that. But we’re definitely still developing it.
“We’re trying to get to a point,” she says, “where we’re never rushing for anything.”
It look alike a 2020 release for this one, folks…
WALMART MAKE A BOO-BOO AS NEW FIGURES GO ON SALE TOO EARLY
Oh and for the collectors out there, the new Star Wars 3 3/4inch figures were accidentally released yesterday in a few Walmarts stores in the US, so needless to say, ebay is now full of them and here’s some images…. they’ll be available on September 5th – Force Friday. I can’t wait for the scene in the movie where they all get together and make their weapons into one big weapon! Ahem.
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NEW HI-RES IMAGES REVEALED
The very cool images that appeared in EW last week have been released in glorious HD. New PC background, anyone?