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JJ Abrams is one of those filmmakers who loves to hide easter eggs in his films and television shows. And we love to go on the easter egg hunt and find them. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is packed with inside jokes, cameos, fun references to past films, as well as some things that pay homage to the inspiration and fandom of the series.

How many Game of Thrones cameos did you spot? Is it possible the Ark of the Covenant from Raiders of the Lost Ark might be hidden in this movie somewhere? Find out this and over 50 other Star Wars: The Force Awakens easter eggs, after the jump.

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Star Wars Jurassic World Box Office

As expected, Star Wars: The Force Awakens obliterated box office records this weekend — including the one set by Jurassic World earlier this year for the biggest opening weekend of all time. But apparently there are no hard feelings on Jurassic World‘s side. Just as the Marvel team congratulated Jurassic World on a job well done when it took over The Avengers‘ record, the Jurassic World gang is gamely toasting Star Wars‘ stellar performance.  Read More »

the force awakens details

Before you freak out, the names in the headline is NOT A SPOILER. There is absolutely no way you would spot any of these fellows in the movie unless you had some idea of where to look. They are not surprise appearances, they are fun easter eggs that you wouldn’t know unless someone told you about them. Knowing where to find them can only enhance you’re viewing, not detract. That said, while the names are not spoilers, pointing out where they appear requires me to spoil plot points, so don’t read this post unless you’ve seen the movie.

Composer Michael Giacchino, James Bond series star Daniel Craig, and Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich all appear in Star Wars: The Force Awakens in cameo roles. Did you see them in the film? Find out about the Force Awakens cameos now after the jump.

Again Warning: Spoilers from the movie are after the jump.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens Power of Storytelling Q&A

A  couple weeks back, the cast and filmmakers behind the new Star Wars film Star Wars: The Force Awakens participated in a Power Of Storytelling Q & A at YouTube Space Los Angeles. Video of the entire 44 minute stage presentation is now online. YouTube executive Danielle Tiedt moderates the question and answer session, which includes Force Awakens director JJ Abrams, producer and Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley and Gwendoline Christie.

The topics include the first stories that inspired them, how do you keep Star Wars fresh over almost four decades, how JJ Abrams became involved in the project, Abrams talks about how you have to look backwards to go forward, the pressure from the intense fanbase, building characters that are different than your own story, what characters inspire them, how did they plan the sound design of Force Awakens, advice for young female creators, managing the human elements in a Star Wars movie, will the Force Awakens capture new audiences like the original did, how do you balance telling an original story but based in a branded franchise, practical effects vs computer generated effects, and the struggles of performing in 125 degree heat in a stormtrooper outfit.

All that and more. The video is filled with some interesting and insightful answers into the inspirations and creative process behind these stars and filmmakers of The Force Awakens.  Hit the jump to watch the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Power of Storytelling Q&A.

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Force Awakens

Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters tonight nationwide. Before you see the movie, check out the latest edition of Force Awakens bits for the following spoiler-free info:

  • Force Awakens has sold more tickets than any other movie on Fandango, not just pre-sales but their full theatrical run.
  • Learn how C3PO’s suit was greatly improved for the filming of the new movie.
  • JJ Abrams explains why he didn’t return for Episode VIII or IX.
  • Abu Dhabi recreated Starkiller Base as a tourist attraction.
  • Force Awakens is 95% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with 200 reviews, a ranking currently higher than all the previous Star Wars films.
  • Adam Driver explains how the lightsabers in Force Awakens finally realized George Lucas‘ original vision.
  • Costume designer Michael Kaplan on creating Han Solo’s more mature look.
  • Force Awakens will screen in space
  • The header image is a behind the scenes shot from a featurette on shooting in Abu Dubai, which you can watch in this post.

All this and more. Hit the jump to hyperspace!

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Kathleen Kennedy and JJ Abrams

As excited as I was to chat with filmmaker J.J. Abrams about Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I was even more excited to chat with super producer Kathleen Kennedy, who aside from producing many of the films of my childhood is the head of Lucasfilm — which means she is in charge of the future of the Star Wars franchise.

I talked to Kennedy about how she and her team are planning out the future of the Star Wars franchise, how George Lucas’ treatments evolved into Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the abandoning of the Star Wars expanded universe, what was being developed at Lucasfilm before George sold to Disney, how the theme park stuff is being worked on, the differences between the Saga films and the Star Wars Story anthology films, the collaboration between J.J. Abrams and future sequel trilogy directors Rian Johnson and Colin Trevorrow, and whether they can top Darth Vader with Kylo Ren. Obviously, some of these quotes were featured on the site last week, but there is so much here that wasn’t — so please read it in its entirety.

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Elders React to The Force Awakens

Star Wars: The Force Awakens was shot on 35mm (with one sequence shot on 70mm IMAX film), but most of the over 4,000 screens showing the film this weekend will be presenting the movie via digital projection. So where can you go to see the movie projected on real 35mm film? There is only one theater in Los Angeles that you can see the film on the same format it was shot on.

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The world premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens took place Monday night in Hollywood, and you’ve already probably read the first reactions and spoiler-free reviews. But the Force Awakens news bits keep on coming. Lets take a look at the latest Star Wars: The Force Awakens news and tidbits:

  • JJ Abrams confirms that the film’s new X-Wing pilot pays tribute to both Lost & the Beastie Boys
  • The Force Awakens Has Already Pre-sold $100 million in tickets
  • If you don’t want to play the video games to learn about the Force Awakens prequel, here is the story behind the Battle Of Jakku.
  • Lupita Nyong’o Didn’t Realize She Auditioned For Force Awakens
  • Cinematographer Dan Minel explains how he shot The Force Awakens 
  • Check out all the new Force Awakens books and merchandise hitting stores on December 18th.
  • Watch the entire recorded Force Awakens Premiere live stream
  • And the header image was created by artist Jerrod Maruyama, who says “I can’t wait to see what JJ does with George’s toys!”

All this and more in today’s Force Awakens Bits. Alright Chewie, Punch it! Hit the jump for hyperspace!

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new star wars image

On Monday night, I was very fortunate to attend the world premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in Hollywood. To say this film is highly anticipated for me is an understatement. This is without a doubt the most anticipated film of not just the year but of my lifetime. I’m a huge Star Wars fanatic, and I’m a big fan of JJ Abrams (warts and all), so my expectations were already higher than the buildings on Cloud City.

After the jump you can read my initial reaction to the film, completely free of spoilers of any kind. Did the film live up to my expectations? Find out in my Force Awakens spoiler free review.

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