The Last Jedi creatures

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is getting closer and closer, kids. And with it comes a whole new bestiary of alien creatures for fans to obsess over. First and foremost: PORGS! The adorable bird-like creatures that shriek their heads off have already become iconic and the dang movie isn’t even out yet. In a new interview, Star Wars creature effects creator Neal Scanlan reveals some The Last Jedi creature details, including new info on porgs.

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Rogue One Creature Featurette

We are ten days away from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hitting theaters and it already feels like the marketing for this film is reaching a fever pitch. Disney has released another featurette, this one focusing on the aliens and creatures featured in the first Star Wars anthology film. While the marketing for Star Wars: The Force Awakens was so laser-focused on convincing fans that this was a return to practical effects, locations, and creatures, we haven’t seen much of this angle for Rogue One. But this new featurette takes us into the Rogue One creature shop to take a look at the artistry behind the aliens and creatures in this film. Hit the jump to watch it now.

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Star Wars The Force Awakens Kanjiklub

The now-Oscar-nominated VFX team of Star Wars: The Force Awakens is making the press rounds, and they’ve got a lot of interesting details to share. After the jump:

  • A fan reimagines The Force Awakens as a high school saga.
  • Does the Force Awakens score hint at Rey’s parentage?
  • The Force Awakens crosses $1 billion at the international box office.
  • Was Maz Kanata in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace?
  • Confirmed: BB-8 was giving Finn a thumbs-up, not flipping him off.
  • Meet Cailey Fleming, who played young Rey in The Force Awakens.
  • Here’s how the Star Wars crew brought BB-8 to life.
  • More Easter eggs have been revealed by the VFX team.
  • Get a detailed description of a deleted scene featuring Maz Kanata.
  • Flip through hi-res stills of Unkar Plutt, Admiral Ackbar, and more.

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star wars obi wan

Welcome back to Star Wars Bits, you source of news for everything Star Wars. Except for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. That thing has its own column. In today’s edition:

  • Star Wars: Episode 8 may see a production delay to accommodate some rewrites.
  • Rian Johnson speaks very highly of VFX wizard Chris Corbould.
  • Episode 8 has one very strange fake production title.
  • Donnie Yen opens up (but just a little) about his character in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
  • More rumors about Darth Vader’s return in Rogue One emerge.
  • Creature designer Neal Scanlan talks about his complex work on Rogue One.
  • The return of Obi-Wan Kenobi… in Mavel’s Star Wars comics.
  • The greatest lightsaber replica you will ever see.
  • One badass AT-AT poster.
  • And more!

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neal Scanlan creature shop Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is filled with practical effects, costumed creatures and puppets. Some of the practical effects are so good that you probably believe they were created inside the computer. After the jump, you can read an excerpt from my conversation with Neal Scanlan — creature & droid effects creative supervisor, creature shop concept designer, creature shop head — and SFX supervisor Chris Corbould. (The full interview will be posted in February). In the excerpt, Scanlan and Corbould reveal some of the invisible practical effects of The Force Awakens and more.

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9781419717802.IN08

How did Star Wars: the Force Awakens evolve during the development process? What were some of the early ideas they were playing with that didn’t end up in the final film? The new book The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens gives us a peek inside the development of Episode 7, from the earliest concepts to post production.

Did you know that Starkiller Base was originally called The Doom Star? That Poe Dameron’s character began as a Jedi or Bounty Hunter? Or how about that they toyed with the idea that Anakin Skywalker would appear in the film as a Force Ghost? Learn about how The Force Awakens changed from the earliest story ideas to the movie you’ve now experienced.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens chief of creature and droid effects Neal Scanlan poses with the creatures from the movie.

It’s Friday and we’re less than a week away from Star Wars: The Force Awakens hitting theaters nationwide. I thought we’d be in Star Wars overkill at this point, but even with a Force Awakens round-up each day on the site I was expecting to be bombarded with much more Force Awakens content the week before JJ Abrams’ Star Wars sequel hits theaters. In today’s edition of Force Awakens Bits, we take a look at the following:

  • Take a first look at Greg Grunberg‘s character: X-Wing pilot Snap Wexly
  • See Four new international Force Awakens character posters revealed
  • Are all Bad Robot office visitors are forced to sign a Star Wars NDA?
  • Russell Crowe saw 9 Minutes of The Force Awakens calls it “Spectacular”
  • Nearly an hour of John Williams Force Awakens score was discarded, modified or rerecorded
  • Alamo Draft House Cinema offers Star Wars-themed meals listed on a Millennium Falcon menu
  • How Rick Carter‘s art team effected The Force Awakens scriptwriting process
  • For preparation, Oscar Issac was given blueprints of every button that had ever been used on screen in an X-Wing
  • Why JJ Abrams And Lawrence Kasdan started from scratch when Michael Arndt left Force Awakens 
  • And the header photo shows Star Wars: The Force Awakens chief of creature and droid effects Neal Scanlan posing with the creatures from the film. So cool.

All this and more in today’s Force Awakens Bits. Hit the jump to hyperspace.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Okay, so today ends the abundance of Star Wars: The Force Awakens news breaks as the Entertainment Weekly cover story has been released. After the jump you can find a round-up of all the new information we haven’t previously covered, including the final Force Awakens running time, the answer to if Starkiller base is another Death Star, Lawrence Kasdan talkimg about “starting from scratch” when he came on to rework Michael Arndt’s script, details on Kylo Ren and General Hux’s relationship and motivations, Daisy Ridley’s funny Harrison Ford story and much more. We also have a 47 second preview that aired on Disney XD in the UK which features a bunch of new footage.

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bb-8-tech

Everyone fell in love with the droid BB-8 at the Force Awakens panel that opened Star Wars Celebration yesterday. Seeing the droid live on stage was a huge treat, especially as many people had never considered the idea that it might be a practical effect.

We know that part of the work for BB-8 was done by Neal Scanlan, but Kathleen Kennedy also mentioned that Bob Iger of Disney had found the company whose tech made the character possible. Turns out, that company is appropriately called Sphero, based in Colorado. That company’s primary product is a big part of what makes the little guy go. Read More »

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BB-8 effects

The most impressive thing at The Force Awakens panel at Star Wars Celebration today was clearly the film’s new teaser trailer. (Watch it here; see a photo breakdown here.) But the next best thing was a demo I don’t think anyone saw coming. The first Force Awakens teaser featured a shot of the rolling droid BB-8, which most everyone assumed to be a CG creation. Surprise! The BB-8 effects are actually practical, as we learned today when the droid rolled onto the Celebration stage. (Mark Hamill had said as much in December, but even then there was the assumption that some of the droid was CG.)

Making things better, that appearance on stage gave us a chance hear a lot more from the droid, and get a sense of the character’s personality. That’s something that both teasers have only hinted at. Check out the BB-8 effects below. Read More »