Star Wars Bits: Force Awakens, Shattered Empire, Rebels Season 2, BB-8 And Much More

It has been a long time since that last Star Wars Bits, but Force Friday week has resulted in a lot of front page stand alone Star Wars stories that I'm not sure that you mind. Here is what you can find in today's edition of Star Wars Bits:

  • JJ Abrams talks about subduing his inner fanboy to make Force Awakens.
  • How John Boyega first met JJ Abrams.
  • New Star Wars: The Force Awakens character promo posters revealed in the Topps' Star Wars Card Trader app.
  • A preview of Star Wars: Shattered Empire, the comic book series which will fill the gap between Return of the Jedi and Force Awakens.
  • Star Wars Rebels director Dave Filoni discusses season two.
  • A new Star Wars Rebels season 2 clip.
  • How the BB-8 Sphero robotic toy was created.
  • The real Damerons go to Force Friday.
  • Puppies Test The New Star Wars BB-8 Droid Toy
  • Why Force Friday Was A Disaster For Many Star Wars Fans
  • 80% Off Select Star Wars trade paperbacks and graphic novels this weekend.
  • The header image: why aren't the Han Solo In Carbonite Pop-Tarts a real thing?

All this and more, after the jump to hyperspace.

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

Star Wars: The Force Awakens director JJ Abrams recently talked to ABC News about what it was like to make a Star Wars movie. Here are a couple choice quotes:

"That was a constant in the production of the movie: moments where we would all look around and realize what we were doing and gasp a little bit and then dive back in. When you're on the set of the Millennium Falcon or staring into the eyes of C3PO giving direction, it's pretty easy to have that fanatic part of you bubble up. But our job was to be there to tell this story, not to be a fanboy." ... "What was incredible from my point of view was how apparently easily they flipped back into these roles. I knew for a fact, for example, that Harrison Ford was going to be in this movie, but I couldn't be certain that Han Solo would be. Meaning, I hadn't seen Han Solo return after nearly 40 years, either. And it wasn't until we got on set that I got my answer. It was a remarkable thing to see how effortlessly Harrison Ford became Han Solo again."

The Topps' Star Wars Card Trader app has revealed a bunch of new character promo art. Check it out above.

When JJ Abrams explained the meaning behind some of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens character names, he revealed that Poe Dameron, the X-Wing pilot played by Oscar Isaac, is named partially after his assistant Morgan Dameron. Here's a fun instagram photo is of Morgan's parents buying an action figure of Poe Dameron on "Force Friday."

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ComicBook.com has posted a first look at the upcoming Star Wars: Shattered Empire comic book series which will help fill in the gap between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. Click here to read more. As you can see, the first issue of Shattered Empire opens in the midst of the Battle of Endor.  The book comes out Wednesday, September 9th 2015.

BB-8 graphic-drive

The Denver Post has an article titled "How Boulder's Sphero brought Star Wars' BB-8 droid to life as a toy". Here is what we learned:

  • Sphero wasn't privy to BB-8's backstory
  • The new toy "aims to be as true as possible to the droid's character — even if those traits aren't revealed until December when The Force Awakens opens."
  • BB-8 is a connected toy "so developers can push out software updates over the Internet any time they write a new one."
  • Bob Iger came to Sphero in July 2014: "He says, 'Hey, I want to show you something.' And he pulls out his iPhone and he starts showing us pictures of the actual filming — the still photos from the set of Star Wars. And he points to this character, BB-8. 'You see this? That's the next droid. The next R2-D2. Can you bring this to life?' "
  • Four hours later, Berberian and co-founders Ian Bernstein and Adam Wilson had hacked their original robotic ball, printed a top out with the 3-D printer they'd brought to Los Angeles and soldered together a BB-8 prototype.
  • Within four hours later the Sphero founders had "hacked their original robotic ball, printed a top out with the 3-D printer they'd brought to Los Angeles and soldered together a BB-8 prototype."
  • Sphero signed the BB-8 toy contract with Disney in November 2014, and "that's when they finally got the design specs and high-resolution images to begin work."
  • The exterior design was a challenge, "requiring more than 100 steps to decorate and make sure the artwork doesn't rub off."
  • Sphero was not involved in the BB-8 that was revealed at Star Wars Celebration. They were just as surprised to see it on stage. Was it inspired by their efforts? "I think when they saw that we could make the physical toy move like the character in the movie, I think it inspired the prop masters to make a physical version of that. We weren't involved in that, but we proved it could be done."

Read the whole article at The Denver Post.

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Star Wars has launched a new Star Wars Movie Instagram account @StarWarsMovies. Might be worth following if you're excited about the upcoming films.

The above video was released featuring Star Wars Rebels director Dave Filoni talking about the upcoming second season of the Disney XD animated series. There are a few pieces of new concept art and bits and pieces of new information. Rebels Report has a round-up:

  • Inquisitors in Season Two were ranked below The Inquisitor in Season One, who is called the "Grand Inquisitor".
  • Sabine has a change of hair style and armor because meeting Darth Vader became a harrowing experience.
  • Zeb has an "awakening" in Season Two, coming into a better understanding of what happened to his people, and who his adversary really is.
  • We will learn Hera's backstory, who her father is, where she came from, and more about her people.
  • A new bounty hunter will be introduced.
  • We will learn more about Ezra's backstory and his parents.

Excited to see the second season begin. Here is a new clip from Star Wars Rebels season 2 that features Ahsoka giving "the Ghost crew some easy advice as they set out to find her mysterious ally."

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Germain Lussier explains why Force Friday Was A Disaster For Many Star Wars Fans:

I love Star Wars. I love collecting. And I'm not sure who is to blame here. Did Hasbro and the other manufactures not make enough product, hoping to raise demand by cutting supply? Or did Toys "R" Us, Target and others just not order enough, severely underestimating the power of Star Wars? I don't know. What I do know is that Force Friday was a major let down for some. And while others certainly got what they wanted, and everyone will be able to get all these products in the weeks, months and years ahead, it still sucks for even a few to be left with such a bad taste after so much buildup.

Read more at io9.

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For Force Friday Weekend, Comixology is offering up to 80% Off some select Star Wars graphic novels (not any of the new canon stuff, but still might be worth your dollars).

John Boyega

John Boyega recently talked to Spin-offline, and revealed the first time he met Star Wars: The Force Awakens director JJ Abrams:

I met J.J. a few years ago at Bad Robot, and he was right next to Tom Cruise. I saw Tom Cruise walk out. Then I saw J.J. Abrams, and J.J. just goes to me, "You know what, John? I loved you in 'Attack the Block.' We're going to get you some something." And I was like... [mouth drops open] And four years later, he got me in something. It just happened to be "Star Wars." So I like that guy.

Of course he does.

Vanity Fair put the new BB-8 Sphero toy to the test, the puppy test. Watch the cute-ness above.