Google Star Wars

After the jump:

  • Pentatonix does Star Wars at the American Music Awards.
  • Who’s Simon Pegg playing in The Force Awakens?
  • Han and Leia get new Force Awakens banners, too.
  • Captain Phasma looks super badass in a new image.
  • See a life-size TIE fighter made of Christmas lights.
  • Pick up a collectible Star Wars drink topper at Regal.
  • Check out Joshua Budich‘s cool Star Wars portraits.
  • … and Daz Tibbles‘ vintage-style comic book covers.
  • Why it’s okay if Force Awakens doesn’t screen for critics.
  • What Force Awakens details were revealed in a kids’ book?
  • Google asks users to choose between Light and Dark.

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universal california harry potter

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Florida is nothing short of amazing. It’s the kind of stunning, next-generation step forward theme park fans hope to see every decade or so. The sense of place, the small Wizarding community of Hogsmeade and the the nearby Hogwarts Castle, is astonishing. The rides, namely Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, do things we’ve never seen done before. It’s a triumph of design and execution.

It’s also increased attendance at Universal’s Florida parks enough to get Disney nervous, so it was inevitable that Universal would eventually bring their Harry Potter attractions to their California location. Why make mountains of gold Galleons on one coast when you can rake in the big bucks on both? Now, nearly four years after it was announced, a new video tour has been released, giving us our first look at the Universal Studios Hollywood version of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter that isn’t a gallery of construction site photos.

Check out the new video for the Universal California Harry Potter attractions after the jump.

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walking dead ride

You can say a lot of things about the still hugely popular The Walking Dead – it’s thrilling, disgusting, boring, repetitive, suddenly-good-after-all-these-years, and/or just-as-bad-as-ever – but you won’t find many people calling it “fun.” The series is punishing at best, putting its characters through the wringer and asking audiences to continually sympathize people who have become worse than the monsters they’re fighting.

So it may be a little weird that AMC‘s flagship series is becoming a theme park ride. Just a little.

Sally Corp, who build animatronics and attractions for museums and theme parks, has revealed The Walking Dead: Battle For Survival at this year’s International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) convention in Orlando, Florida. The “mixed media” dark ride is already fully designed. It just needs a buyer and a home.

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star wars launch bay

For the next few weeks, the Disney’s patented Synergistic Marketing Machine is going to kick into a gear we’ve never quite seen before. With Star Wars: The Force Awakens only a month away from release, the massive media conglomeration is embarking on a campaign to make sure that each and every human being on the planet with access to a movie theater knows about J.J. Abrams‘ sequel and is either excited about it or browbeaten enough to go see it out of obligation. It’s all the same in the end, right?

Disney’s most impressive feat of marketing has to be the Star Wars Launch Bay attraction that officially opened at several of their theme parks yesterday. This temporary exhibit (a prelude to the actual under-construction Star Wars lands arriving in a few years) shows off props and costumes from The Force Awakens, gives fans a chance to interact with a few Star Wars characters, and ultimately serves as a massive reminder that they love the original trilogy.

But Disneyland passes cost a literal arm and a leg these days (what is Disney doing with their new collection of limbs?) so you might as well watch videos from the exhibit at home in bed.

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2016 Universal Studios Hollywood Annual Passes

I’m a Disneyland-fanatic but I’m not one of those hardcores that hates on Universal Studios at every turn. I actually like Universal, and specifically their Studio Tour in Hollywood (although it needs some updates), their 4D Transformers ride and the incredibly detailed immersive experience they have created with Harry Potter. Last month Disney fanatics were sent into a tizzy when the Mouse House announced that they were raising the prices of Annual Passes, including the top pass with no black out days being raised 35% to $1049.

And we expected Universal Studios to raise their prices, especially considering The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be making its way to the west coast in Spring 2016. But I don’t think anyone would have expected them to announce three new annual passes, none of which allow full 365 day access to the parks and free parking privileges. Weekends during the Summer are blocked out even on the most expensive passes. Find out the details on the 2016 Universal Studios Hollywood Annual Passes, after the jump.

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pixar short film festival

When Captain EO returned to Disney theme parks around the world in 2010, everyone assumed it was a temporary thing, a quick buffer to capitalize on renewed interest in star Michael Jackson following his death. And then the bombastic, not-especially-good 3D musical short film (originally introduced into the parks in 1986) stuck around for five and half years like some kind of horrible rash for which there was no ointment.

Until now. It has been revealed that Captain EO is officially on its way out at Disney World’s Epcot park, where it will be replaced by a “Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival.” That’s not as exciting as an actual, proper new attraction, but as far as desperate stop-gaps go, it’s solid one… and it certainly beats more of Michael Jackson battling evil with the power of dance. If programmed well, this is a show that could play very well.

More on Epcot’s new Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival after the jump.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Star Wars The Art Awakens

We’re heading into the home stretch of waiting for Star Wars: The Force Awakens with just over a month left until the film hits theaters on December 17th. And along with the onslaught of TV spots that will be arriving to help promote the film, there will be plenty of other Star Wars events and promotions, like Gallery 1988’s The Art Awakens show.

The exhibition opened last night with a slew of new artwork from over 60 artists, paying tribute to the original Star Wars trilogy (with some influence from the prequels) and The Force Awakens. J.J. Abrams (seen above in a photo from our own Peter Sciretta) and Lawrence Kasdan even attended the event last night.

And for those interested, there are a couple of pieces that may provide some insight into the forthcoming sequel. Read More »

Mad Max: Fury Road Posters by Christopher Cox

We’ve posted a lot of great Mad Max: Fury Road art over the past year, including a series from Poster Posse, Scott C’s epically-sized Great Showdown and Mondo’s Ken Taylor and Mike Mitchel prints. But that doesn’t mean we can’t post more great art inspired by George Miller’s science fiction action adventure film.

The latest batch of Mad Max Fury Road art comes from Denver, Colorado-based artist Christopher Cox of Changethethought Studio, who created two very cool Mad Max: Fury Road posters which depict memorable moments from the film inside the film’s bold title. Hit the jump to check out Cox’s Mad Max Fury Road posters and even gain some insight into his process.

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Back to the Future Celebration

While fans were clamoring to get their hands on Pepsi Perfect and witnessing history being made with the first pair of power-lace shoes from Nike, the more hardcore Back to the Future fans were in California at the five-day 30th anniversary celebration We’re Going Back. With screenings, reenactments, location visits and more, this was the place to be.

But tickets were also expensive as hell, and if you’re like me, you just couldn’t afford to fly over to California to enjoy the festivities (though I did get to experience Back to the Future live in concert on October 21st). However, you can now kinda pretend that you attended We’re Going Back with some quick video recaps of the best stuff from each day of the Back to the Future celebration. Read More »