Posted on Friday, January 15th, 2016 by Jacob Hall
Welcome back to The Force Awakens Bits, your regular source of news about the movie you’ve already watched seven times! In today’s edition:
- Hot Toys’ Rey figure has received a very cool (and spoiler-y) upgrade.
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens keeps on breaking box office records.
- Rian Johnson teases all of the Finn/Poe shippers out there.
- The team behind BB-8 explains how they brought his crazier effects to life.
- Someone built a life-size LEGO BB-8.
- An inside look at how to build a 70mm print of The Force Awakens.
- The John Williams The Force Awakens soundtrack guide you didn’t know you needed.
- Patton Oswalt and Conan O’Brien chat about The Force Awakens.
- One guy who really wants to spoil Star Wars for everyone.
All this and more, after the jump.
The days of The Force Awakens doing totally insane box office numbers on a daily basis may be over, but it’s still moving at a remarkable clip. Deadline reports that the film has officially surpassed Avengers: Age of Ultron at the international box office, with $946 million earned at the international box office. For those keeping score at home, that makes it the sixth highest grossing movie of all time in foreign territories. The next movie to beat: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and its $960 million international gross.
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) January 14, 2016
Here is Star Wars: Episode 8 director Rian Johnson dumping a couple gallons of fuel on the fanboy fire. Sure, everyone involved in the movies keeps on saying that Poe Dameron and Finn aren’t going to get it on anytime soon. And sure, Johnson is known to be playful on Twitter. But go ahead and start your sexy, sexy speculation right now.
Although a great deal of the business involving the adorable BB-8 was achieved with a practical robot, certain aspects of the character had to be accomplished with digital effects. One of these was the amusing bit were the lovable droid using a lighter to simulate a thumbs up, a bit that wasn’t in the script and was improvised on set…and it was harder to pull off than you’d think. Says Patrick Tubach, one of the ILM visual effects supervisors working on the film:
“We did several different prototype ideas of what that could look like, and we had various amounts of metal and plastic on there. One of the difficult things with animating something like that is you have to be very careful that it doesn’t look like he’s giving you some other sort of gesture! We moved all the pieces around to make sure it was very clearly a thumbs up over any other kind of ’salute.’”
Some talented fellow with far too much time on his hands went and built a life-size BB-8. To be fair, it was built for the U.K. premiere of The Force Awakens, so it’s not like he was just building this schmucks on the internet – he had a live crowd to impress! You can watch a time-lapse of the construction above and check out the final version below, where it’s flanked by equally impressive LEGO versions of Finn and Rey.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens scored five Oscar nods this week. That brings the entire saga’s Academy Award nomination count to 30, tying the Lord of the Rings trilogy for the most nominations for any one film franchise. It’s not even close: the Harry Potter movies have 12 nominations, Star Trek and Batman 15, and the James Bond series 14. And with more Star Wars movies on the way, it will surely break that record very, very soon.
Only fifteen theaters in the entire world were able to screen The Force Awakens in 70mm and San Jose’s IMAX Dome Theater was one of them. While 70mm film projection is the absolute best way to watch a movie (seriously, it’s unreal), it’s not a simple process and it require a certain amount of effort and dedication on the part of the projectionist. Thankfully, cameras were on hand to document this process for future generations, showcasing just what’s it’s like to build and project a print of the most anticipated movie in years.
An intrepid user on the John Williams Fan Network Forums has gone through The Force Awakens beat-by-beat, examining where each track on the released soundtrack is placed and tracking the stretches of unreleased music. It’s exhaustive and if you’re a soundtrack aficionado, potentially invaluable. You can pursue the various notes, charts and lists right over here.