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STAR WARS ROUND-UP: Episode VIII, Battlefront, characters, trailers, footage, TV Spots and much, much more…

November 19th, 2015 by Marc Comments

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Well, it’s been another mental week for Star Wars news… as the movie gets closer and closer it just seems that saturation has reached fever pitch.

So, without further ado, let’s get into the latest news – there’s SPOILERS here folks but we’ve named everything so you’ll know what you will or won’t want to read.

EPISODE VIII

JJ Abrams has been talking about the next step in the saga – Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: Episode VIII – “The script for VIII is written. I’m sure rewrites are going to be endless, like they always are. But what Larry (Kasdan) and I did was set up certain key relationships, certain key questions, conflicts. And we knew where certain things were going. We had meetings with Rian and Ram Bergman, the producer of VIII. They were watching dailies when we were shooting our movie . We wanted them to be part of the process, to make the transition to their film as seamless as possible. I showed Rian an early cut of the movie, because I knew he was doing his rewrite and prepping. And as executive producer of VIII, I need that movie to be really good. Withholding serves no one and certainly not the fans. So we’ve been as transparent as possible.

“Rian has asked for a couple of things here and there that he needs for his story. He is an incredibly accomplished filmmaker and an incredibly strong writer. So the story he told took what we were doing and went in the direction that he felt was best, but that is very much in line with what we were thinking as well. But you’re right—that will be his movie; he’s going to do it in the way he sees fit. He’s neither asking for nor does he need me to oversee the process.”

It’s so exciting to think that, while we’re excited to see Episode VII, Episode VIII is already well underway, isn’t it?

WHERE’S LUKE?

Where’s Luke? It’s become something of a social media sensation since the theatrical poster for Star Wars: The Force Awakens came distinctly lacking a certain Jedi named Skywalker.

However, thanks to eagle-eyed viewers and the booming acceleration of fan theories, write Squareeyed, we know fine rightly he’s in the movie somewhere. As what, though, remains a pertinent question – and it’s something Entertainment Weekly quizzed director J.J. Abrams about when they sat down with him as part of their extensive coverage of the film.

“No one forgot about him!” states the director. “We were hoping people would care, but there are a lot of things that are not on the poster, as busy as the poster is. Certainly Luke is a very important aspect of the story.”

It was the thing that struck me the hardest, which was the idea that doing a story that took place nearly 40 years after Jedi meant that there would be a generation for whom Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Leia would be as good as myth,” he continues.

“They’d be as old and as mythic as the tale of King Arthur. They would be characters who they may have heard of, but maybe not. They’d be characters who they might believe existed, or just sounded like a fairy tale.”

This is especially true of Daisy Ridley’s Rey, a young woman who was abandoned on the desert world of Jakku as a child and forced to eke out a meager existence as a scavenger amid its battlefield junkyards.

“To someone who is living alone and struggling without a formal education or support system, who knows what that person in the literal middle of nowhere would have ever heard about any of these things, or would ever know, and how much that person would have to infer and piece together on their own,” Abrams says.

“So the idea that someone like that would begin to learn that the Jedi were real, and that the Force exists, and that there’s a power in the universe that sounds fanciful but is actually possible, was an incredibly intriguing notion.

IMAX 3D POSTER

Ok, here’s the very awesome poster for the IMAX 3D screenings…

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SERKIS ON SNOKE

So last week we posted an image of what might be Snoke, the character played by Andy Serkis in The Force Awakens, but we still know very little about him. However, Serkis has been talking about who he is in the grand scheme of things: “It’s the first time I’ve been on set not yet knowing what the character’s gonna look like. I mean talk about secrecy!” Says Serkis.

“When we first started working on it, he had some rough notions of how Snoke was gonna look, but it really hadn’t been fully-formed and it almost came out of discussion and performance.”

but who is Snoke? “Supreme Leader Snoke is quite an enigmatic character, and strangely vulnerable at the same time as being quite powerful. Obviously he has a huge agenda. He has suffered a lot of damage. As I said, there is a strange vulnerability to him, which belies his true agenda, I suppose…He is large. He appears tall. And also just the facial design – you couldn’t have gotten there with prosthetics. It’s too extreme. Without giving too much away at this point, he has a very distinctive, idiosyncratic bone structure and facial structure. You could never have done it [in real life.]”

Is Snoke a by-product of events in the previous Star Wars movies or has he his own motivation: “He’s aware of what’s gone on, in the respect that he has been around and is aware of prior events. I think it’d be fair to say that he is aware of the past to a great degree.”

We can’t wait to see this guy in action… and we love how he MIGHT look (see link above).

SECOND TV SPOT:

CHILDREN IN NEED

Also this week past, Star Wars played a big part in the BBC’s annual Children in Need charity event. You can see the full sketch below:

SIMON PEGG HAS A MELTDOWN OVER PREQUELS

We all know Simon Pegg is a big hater of the prequel movies – which is fair enough – but he’s become wildly outspoken about it. And this past week he’s taken it to another level altogether, going so far as to say that he has no respect for anyone who likes them.

Well, it seems we’ve lost Simon Pegg’s respect. But we’ll still sleep soundly. Here’s what the actor, who played Dengar in Clone Wars and appears in The Force Awakens, had to say to the New York Daily News: “I don’t really have any respect for anyone who thinks those films are good. They’re not. (They’re) a monumental misunderstanding of what the (original) three films are about. It’s an exercise in utter infanticide … (like) George Lucas killing his kid.”

We hope he’s playing up the utterly preposterous reactions – but we’re not sure he is.

ALL THE FOOTAGE IN ORDER… SO FAR

Someone has cut together all the footage we have so far into one, linear story (we think) and it looks like this:

HUX AND THE STARKILLER BASE…

OK, so we’ve all seen the Starkiller Base – the big Death Star looking thing in the background of the poster (here) – but we don’t really know what it is.

Now JJ Abrams has shed a little light on it: “It is very much — and it’s acknowledged as such in the movie — apparently another Death Star. But what it’s capable of, how it works, and what the threat is, is far greater than what the Death Star could have done. Starkiller Base is another step forward, technologically speaking, in terms of power.”

Rumour is that Domhnall Gleeson’s character , General Hux, a high-ranking member of the First Order, is the man at the controls – the Grand Moff Tarkin of the new movie - “There’s an air of superiority, and being better than those people around you,” Gleeson says of the character.

“He’s pretty ruthless. A strong disciplinarian would be a mild way of putting it….You don’t get that high up in your life that quickly unless you’re pretty ruthless.You have to put a few people down on the way to get there.”

But does he work for or maybe command Kylo Ren? “He’s kind of opposite Kylo Ren,” he says. “They have their own relationship, which is individual and unusual. One of them is strong in different ways than the other. They’re both vying for power.”

Less than a month to go, guys!

DISNEY HAS A COUPLE OF TV SPECIALS. HERE’S ONE OF THEM:

HERE’S ANOTHER

HOW ABOUT AN AWESOME BATTLEFRONT LAUNCH TRAILER?

CARTOON NETWORK GET THEIR OWN TV SPOT

HOW ABOUT A CHEWIE AND BB-8 TV AD FOR VERIZON? OH AND DOES THIS CONFIRM BETTER STORMTROOPER ARMOUR? WATCH CLOSELY…

MEET CONSTABLE ZUVVIO…

Empire Magazine gave us our first look at mysterious new character Constable Zuvvio,  a “vigilant law officer on a mostly lawless world” who “keeps order in a frontier trading post”. He’s also apparently “tough and humorless”.

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AND FINALLY…

How about some laughs? Ever try ensuring an X-Wing pilot? Oh and keep scrolling for some more very awesome images…

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Source: Comingsoon, Comingsoon, Geektyrant, Comingsoon

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Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….

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