Anton Yelchin as Pavel Chekov

This weekend marks the debut of Star Trek Beyond, and by all accounts it’s quite good. So good, in fact, that Paramount is already moving full speed ahead on a sequel. But there’s a bittersweetness underlying all the warm buzz and giddy celebration — Star Trek Beyond is one of the last-ever completed roles of actor Anton Yelchin, who recently passed away at the age of 27. So how will the franchise deal with Yelchin’s character Chekov going forward?

Producer J.J. Abrams said the filmmakers are still weighing their options, pointing out it’s still “too early” to announce a decision. But the one thing they definitely won’t do, he revealed, is recast the role of Ensign Pavel Chekov with a new actor.  Read More »

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force awakens early concepts

Did you know that the early chase in Star Wars: The Force Awakens was originally designed to be a speeder bike these through the wreckage on Jakku? Here are some fun facts and trivia learned during The Art Of Star Wars: The Force Awakens panel at Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016. Hit the jump to learn about some of the Force Awakens early concepts.

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The Force Awakens

The dream of the Lucasfilm Story Group is that everything will be connected: the movies, the books, the games, the comics, the VR experiences, everything. So far the books seem to be feeding off of the movies, explaining after the fact how we got to our current place in the Star Wars timeline. But as we progress in this new trilogy, the books and the movies will be interwoven, telling the story of this galaxy in unison. At the DK Publishing presentation at Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016, Lucasfilm creative executive Pablo Hidalgo revealed that the books are already beginning to inform future Star Wars stories. In fact, an old expanded universe book resulted in changes to the Star Wars: The Force Awakens script.

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Lego JJ Abrams

Kathleen Kennedy and J.J. Abrams may not actually appear onscreen in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but they’re every bit as essential to the story as Rey or Finn or Kylo Ren — arguably even more so, since they’re the architects who designed it in the first place. So why should they have to sit out Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens while Lego Rey and Lego Finn and Lego Kylo Ren have all the fun?

Well, now they don’t. Turns out Abrams and Kennedy are playable characters in the video game, which just hit shelves this week. Click through to see a video of Lego J.J. Abrams and Lego Kathleen Kennedy in action in Lego Star Wars: The Force AwakensRead More »

James Cameron Force Awakens

What did Aliens/Avatar director James Cameron think of J.J. AbramsStar Wars: The Force Awakens? While he won’t come right out and say it, it doesn’t sound like he liked the new Star Wars film very much. Watch a clip from a new interview with the Titanic/Terminator filmmaker trying artfully to dodge the question of whether he liked Disney’s new Star Wars film. Hit the jump to hear the James Cameron Force Awakens comments.
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Star Trek Beyond Set Visit

Last Summer, I visited the set of Star Trek Beyond in Vancouver, Canada. Find out what I learned on set, including how over 50 new alien species were created for this film in honor of Trek’s 50th anniversary, how director Justin Lin has put an end to JJ Abrams’ “camera hand jobs” (yes, you just read that right) and much much more.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Everything is a Remix Video Essay

In 2010, Kirby Ferguson created a video essay called Everything is a Remix, about how it’s not just Quentin Tarantino, but every single artist (authors, musicians or filmmakers) who borrows something old to make something new. The video essay spawned a series of essays, which was later combined into an almost 40 minute long documentary (which you can watch here).

Ferguson has returned once again with a new Everything is a Remix video essay, this time focusing not just on Star Wars: The Force Awakens but also the overall storytelling career of JJ Abrams. The video isn’t just a visualization of all the complaints we’ve heard about Force Awakens being a rehash of A New Hope (we’ve already seen that before), but a serious look into the screenwriter, director and producer’s filmography, as well as an examination of how Abrams copies, transforms and combines his stories to create his art. But it also asks: is the remix method growing stale and have we hit the limits of remixing?

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens opening crawl

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is one of the most popular movies of all time, and we’ve posted about all the hidden Easter eggs, seen many video essays about the plot comparisons to A New Hope (which even Abrams has admitted was by design) and seen a bevy of posts and videos pointing out the film’s flaws. But one error I haven’t seen mentioned many places in the mainstream press is the fact that Star Wars: The Force Awakens opening crawl features a different font from the previous six live-action films. And there’s almost nothing nerdier than typography and font geekery, but if this kind of thing interests you, hit the jump and find out how it’s wrong.

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Jabba Flow

When the Star Wars: The Force Awakens soundtrack was released, many fans were angry that it didn’t include the song from Maz’s castle. The soundtrack only collected John Williams‘ score and not that awesome new cantina song which was created by Hamilton‘s Lin-Manuel Miranda in collaboration with filmmaker JJ Abrams.

And now that its Star Wars Day (May the Fourth Be With You), they have finally decided to release the song, titled “Jabba Flow”, on iTunes. JJ Abrams and Lin-Manuel Miranda made the announcement today, and even performed the single live. Hit the jump to find out how you can download the new single “Jabba Flow,” watch Abrams and Miranda perform the song live and also learn a bit about what the song means.

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