Star Wars The Force Awakens X-Wing

Hasbro has released a full catalog of Star Wars: The Force Awakens toys that are coming out on Force Friday, which takes place on Midnight on September 4th 2015. Most of the toys are pretty much spoiler free as it seems JJ Abrams and the creative team is limiting the early merchandising to mostly the first third of the movie. For instance, notice how the Rey and Finn figures are only available in “Jakku” versions. I’m sure they change outfits and look different throughout the film, but we’re only seeing toys from the early scenes in the Force Awakens.

But there are a couple minor side characters shown and vehicles we have yet to see (most of which I believe were just created for the toy line, so they won’t be featured in the movie), so proceed at your own risk of very very minor spoiler information. Hit the jump to see all the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens toys.

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Star Wars The Force Awakens Empire cover

The Dark Side takes the spotlight on the latest cover of Empire magazine, as revealed today. Click through to get a new look at Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson), Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie), and their faithful army of Stormtroopers.

Update: Empire has just revealed its other Star Wars: The Force Awakens cover, this one featuring heroes Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), and BB-8. See it after the jump. Read More »

Unnecessary CGI Special Effects

In recent years, there’s been a lot of backlash against CGI visual effects as movie studios rely on them more and more instead of practical set pieces, models and make-up effects (mostly because there’s some pretty terrible visual effects out there). We’ve already highlighted a thoughtful look at how CGI effects are actually great when not relied upon too heavily and blend seamlessly with practical filmmaking techniques.

But sometimes CGI special effects are just downright unnecessary and baffling, and the folks at Dorkly have assembled a short list of five of the most unnecessary CGI special effects, but beware of some brief NSFW nudity. Somehow one of the Star Wars prequels only appeared on the list once. Read More »

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In today’s edition of Star Wars Bits:

  • See what Chewbacca looks like without hair.
  • Watch the Disney Infinity Star Wars Twilight of the Republic trailer.
  • See some of the best art from the Star Wars Art Awakens contest so far.
  • A new image from Star Wars Rebels season 2 and information on the 2015 New York Comic Con presentation.
  • Han Solo’s past finally confirmed or debunked in issue #8 of Marvel’s Star Wars comic book.
  • Two new spoiler-free synopses for Star Wars: The Force Awakens reference books
  • What is the X-Wing Squadron called in Star Wars: The Force Awakens?
  • And your chance to bid on special artist-painted Stormtrooper Helmets to benefit Star Wars: Force For a Change‘s UNICEF efforts.

All that and more in today’s Star Wars Bits. Hit the jump to hyperspace.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens Lupita Nyong'o
We don’t know much about Lupita Nyong’o‘s character in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And we might not learn anymore about her role until we see the movie. Even with “Force Friday” quickly approaching, the actress believes we won’t see Maz Kanata until we see the character on the big screen in the film.

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Valara Saar in Lucasfilm trademarks?

Lucasfilm has filed new trademark registrations this week for Star Wars character names from the non-canon expanded universe — how mysterious. You might remember that we first learned of Gwendoline Christie’s character name Captain Phasma from trademark filings, so these two names might provide interesting clues to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: Rogue One or the future of the Star Wars saga.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Disney-Princesses-Star-Wars-Characters

In today’s edition of Star Wars Bits we will take a look at:

  • A sneak preview of the possible opening crawl for Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • JJ Abrams remembers the first time he saw Star Wars.
  • Disneyland is casting for performers for Star Wars Launch Bay opening in October or November 2015
  • New Star Wars credit cards that will give cardholders exclusive access to Star Wars meet-and-greets in Disney theme parks.
  • See two new Star Wars comic book variant covers.
  • Japan All Nippon Airways reveals a new plane which will be themed like BB-8 from The Force Awakens.
  • The Star Wars: Uprising mobile game will have promotions at PAX Prime.
  • Set photos from Star Wars: Rogue One at Cardington, which could be another recreation of an Original Trilogy location.
  • Disney Interactive’s announcements from D23 Expo, including Force Awakens Disney Infinity figures and a look at the Battle of Jakku DLC level in Star Wars Battlefront which serves as a Force Awakens prequel.
  • Another possible Star Wars Land location for the Disneyland version.
  • And the header image is one of the illustrations created by Isaiah Stephens for Zimbio featuring Disney princesses and Star Wars mixed together

All that and more in today’s Star Wars Bits. Hit the jump to get to it.

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Empire sticker

We’re not quite done with Star Wars D23 stuff, but there’s non-D23 stuff here, too. After the jump:

  • Find out where to get the cheeky car decal seen above
  • Watch highlights from the Star Wars D23 panel
  • J.J. Abrams explains why anyone would even want to join the First Order
  • … and gushes about Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma
  • Oscar Isaac talks about growing up in a Star Wars-obsessed family
  • Daisy Ridley looks pleased as punch with her Drew Struzan Episode VII poster
  • Learn a tiny bit more about Episode VII‘s Constable Zuvio
  • Ooh and ahh over Sideshow‘s deluxe edition Boba Fett figure
  • Get details on the limited-edition Darth Vader PlayStation 4 console

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The Empire Strikes Back without music

It’s hard to imagine what Star Wars would be like without the incredible music of composer John Williams. The themes created by the master of movie music are just as iconic as the movie itself, and more recognizable than 95% of the scores we hear for movies. But how does Williams prepare to write music for films?

Some vintage footage from 1980 shows Williams sitting down with producer George Lucas, director Irvin Kershner and producer Gary Kurtz to watch a cut of The Empire Strikes Back without music in order to figure out what he wants to do with the score for these scenes. In the clip, you actually get to see footage from the Star Wars sequel with a temporary soundtrack, and it’s absolutely fascinating. Read More »