JJ Abrams and BB-8 on the set of Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Ever since BB-8 was revealed in the first Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser trailer, the world has been obsessed with the newest droid in the galaxy. How was BB-8 created? What was the story behind his creation and development? Hit the jump to find out what we learned from a recent longform article about Lucasfilm. For instance, did you know that JJ Abrams was still unsure a practical BB-8 would work right up until a week before filming began?

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‘Star Wars: Rogue One’ Helmets Revealed?

Rogue One logo

Now that Star Wars: Rogue One is in production (set photos have begun to leak online), and the Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation embargo is officially over, Disney has begun promoting the film at D23 Expo 2015 where they revealed the film’s full cast along with a cast photo. Rogue One co-star Donnie Yen has posted an image of new helmets on his instagram account. Are these new helmets from Star Wars: Rogue One? We believe so.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens mural

There was a ton of Star Wars news coming out of D23 Expo 2015, and if you missed any of that from the Star Wars Anthology films getting new branding, to the Star Wars: The Force Awakens poster by artist Drew Struzen, to the first photo and cast from Star Wars: Rogue One, to the director of Star Wars Episode 9, to Star Wars Lands announced for Disney theme parks, head over to our D23 2015 news roundup. But there is a lot of Star Wars tidbits we missed over the last few days, so lets dive in. Here is what to expect in today’s Star Wars Bits:

  • Tom Baker, the fourth Doctor Who, has been cast in a Star Wars project, but which one?
  • George Lucas blames a Walt Disney creation for Jar Jar Binks.
  • According to JJ Abrams, who is the Ralph McQuarrie of Star Wars: The Force Awakens?
  • Which monumental Star Wars set has been recreated for Star Wars: Rogue One? (actually, not much of a spoiler)
  • Ralph McQuarrie‘s Influence on Star Wars Land 
  • Why Star Wars: Battlefront won’t have a single player campaign mode.
  • Is Drew Struzan‘s Force Awakens D23 Expo poster the film’s official poster? Will there be another?

All that and more in today’s edition of Star Wars Bits. Hit the jump now.

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Back to the Future 2 from Hot Toys

One of the biggest and best booths every year on the Comic Con show floor is always Sideshow Collectibles. That company produces some of the best geek collectibles available and every July they surprise with a ton of upcoming product never-before-seen or announced. This year at the 2015 San Diego Comic Con International is no different.

Sideshow’s slate includes Back to the Future 2 Hot Toys sixth scale collectibles (if you thought that Delorean from last year was cool, you’re gonna see some serious shit), some amazing Star Wars sixth scale figures and vehicles (a huge sixth scale Millennium Falcom cockpit and a HUGE sixth scale Tie fighter), a kick-ass Voltron maquette, the first two statues in the Masters Of The Universe line, a bunch of new Marvel figures and much much more. Hit the jump to learn details and see photos of all these new collectibles from Sideshow’s Booth.

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Hoth Shield McQuarrie

There are secrets, there are games, there are rumors and there’s so much non-spoiler awesomeness in this edition of Star Wars Bits. Below, read about the following

  • See the first images of Star Wars Disney Infinity.
  • Rumors have begun to swirl of an AMC Star Wars Movie Marathon in December.
  • A simple Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser poster has been spotted in theaters.
  • Watch the unfinished Bad Batch episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
  • The full Untold Clone Wars and Bad Batch Celebration panels are online.
  • Where did the Millennium Falcon‘s new satellite come from?
  • Check out yet another Ralph McQuarrie influence in the design of The Force Awakens.
  • Stunt doubles for several stars of The Force Awakens reportedly did reshoots recently.
  • Watch Kathleen Kennedy and Daisy Ridley talking Star Wars: The Force Awakens in Japan.

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Ralph McQuarrie documentary
Artist Ralph McQuarrie‘s concept art was a huge influence on most of our childhoods — Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, E.T. would not look the way they did if it had not been for McQuarrie’s illustrations during the development phase. While McQuarrie died a few years back, his work is still a huge influence on the biggest movies coming out today — notably JJ Abrams appears to be going back to McQuarrie’s old unused Star Wars concept designs for Star Wars: The Force Awakenssee some examples here. LucasFilm helped produced Ralph McQuarrie: Tribute to a Master for Star Wars Celebration VI in 2012. You can watch the five part Ralph McQuarrie documentary embedded after the jump.
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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Ralph McQuarrie Star Wars concept art

Many fans credit much of the visual genius of the original Star Wars trilogy to concept artist Ralph McQuarrie. His beautiful concept paintings and early sketches inspired much of what we love about the galaxy far, far away. In fact, the current Lucasfilm creative team are using parts of McQuarrie’s original unused concept art as inspiration for the new Star Wars films and movies.

We’ve talked about how they have repurposed the original Chewbacca design for Zeb in Star Wars Rebels (among other things). Now I want to look at how much the late Ralph McQuarrie’s original unused Star Wars concept designs have influenced Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Hit the jump to check out our Ralph McQuarrie Force Awakens comparison guide. Read More »

George RR Martin Chewbacca

Is it possible Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin helped to unknowingly create Star Wars‘ Chewbacca? Hit the jump and we’ll take a journey through the creation of the famous Wookiee from a galaxy far, far away. We’ll discover the George RR Martin Chewbacca connection and examine what it might mean.

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ZZ52EF5DBB

Above you can see two pieces of concept art for Yoda, designed during the development of Empire Strikes Back. Its almost impossible to imagine Yoda as a blue gnome creature with pointy toes, but that was George Lucas’ initial conception of the wise old master Jedi. I’m always fascinated by these kind of “what ifs.”

What might have been if one little decision was different than what we have come to know and expect. Its hard not to imagine Yoda as a fragile little green creature with pointy ears, just as much as its hard to imagine Yoda with a different voice than the one puppeteer Frank Oz provided for the character — but even that was not the original plan.

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