Star Wars Bits: Cure For Luke Skywalker Withdrawal, Lightsabers, Snowspeeder Wheelchair

Uh, uh, negative, negative. We had a Star Wars Bits leak here now. Give us a few minutes to lock it down. Large leak, very dangerous. This edition of news from a galaxy far, far away includes:

  • Synopses of the new The Perfect Weapon and Before the Awakening stories
  • Sound mixer Bob Minkler has passed away
  • The Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer remade in Destiny
  • Air France has a travel deal for fans heading to France for The Force Awakens
  • Where and when to see The Force Awakens trailer theatrically
  • Dave Filoni talks Star Wars Rebels, plus a clip from the next episode
  • Extremely detailed Death Star II blueprint poster
  • Day of the Dead inspired Star Wars artwork for Halloween
  • How custom lightsaber replicas changed the weapon's presence on The Force Awakens set
  • One kid's wheelchair gets turned into a functional Rebel snowspeeder
  • The Force Awakens trailer, now with more Luke Skywalker
  • Header image: Day of the Dead Star Wars artwork, see more on the second page.starwars-perfectweapon

    November 24th brings a new Star Wars eBook called The Perfect Weapon as part of The Journey to The Force Awakens, and a new detailed synopsis has just arrived online (via StarWarsUnderworld):

    Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens with this exclusive ebook short story set shortly before the events of the film, featuring a quick-witted mercenary who takes big risks for bigger rewards—and now faces the challenge that will take her to the edge.

    There are plenty of mercenaries, spies, and guns for hire in the galaxy. But probably none as dangerous and determined as Bazine Netal. A master of disguise—and lethal with a blade, a blaster, or bare handed—she learned from the best. Now it's her turn to be the teacher—even if schooling an eager but inexperienced recruit in the tricks of her trade is the last thing she wants to do. But it's the only way to score the ship she needs to pull off her latest job.

    An anonymous client has hired Bazine to track down an ex-stormtrooper and recover the mysterious package he's safeguarding. Payment for the mission promises to be astronomical, but the obstacles facing Bazine will prove to be formidable. And though her eager new sidekick has cyber skills crucial to the mission, only Bazine's razor-sharp talents will mean the difference between success or failure—and life or death.


    In addition, a translated Spanish synopsis of the forthcoming children's book Star Wars: Before the Awakening (arriving December 18th) reveals an interesting detail about Poe Dameron (via

    Before they united in the fight against evil, Rey, Poe and Finn led very different lives. Rey was a lone scavenger on the desert planet of Jakku. Poe was a pilot for the Republic. And Finn was only FN-2187, a promising but reluctant stormtrooper. These are their stories. This is what happened before the Awakening.

    So Poe flew for the Republic before moving to the Resistance. That's interesting.

    Star Wars

    Some sad news from the world of Star Wars arrived earlier this week with Deadline reporting the death of Robert Alan "Bob" Minkler. The man won an Oscar for his work as a sound mixer on the original Star Wars and was also part of the crew on films such as The Black Stallion, Easy Rider, Bull Durham, Mask, Urban Cowboy, Rocky II and Hair. He was also nominated for his work on TRON before eventually retiring and moving to Hawaii to raise his family. Rest in peace.

    Someone remade the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer in the video game Destiny. [Polygon]

    Oscar Issac in Star Wars: The Force AwakensAir France has some kind of Star Wars travel deal for the most hardcore fans who are interested in heading overseas to France to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens a little earlier than the rest of us here in the United States. Still too expensive for my taste wars reaction videos

    Sure, you've watched the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer dozens of times online, but when and where can you see it on the big screen? Reportedly the first opportunity we'll have to see the trailer in theaters will be with Spectre next week. So enjoy James Bond's latest mission and prepare to go into a galaxy far, far away in about a month and a half. []

    davefiloni-drawingboardIGN has a whole interview with Star Wars Rebels executive producer Dave Filoni where he talks about the new Inquisitors, where other Jedi besides Kanan, Ahsoka and Ezra may be during the original trilogy and much more.

    Speaking of Star Wars Rebels, above is a new clip from the November 4th episode:

    In this preview of the Star Wars Rebels episode "Brothers of the Broken Horn," responding to a distress signal that originated from Vizago's ship, Ezra arrives on board and instead finds the legendary swashbuckler Hondo Ohnaka! It turns out that Vizago lost his ship and his droids to Hondo in a game of Sabaac. Rolling with the tide, Ezra masquerades as fellow card player and scoundrel Lando Calrissian. An impressed Hondo expresses his admiration and makes an interesting proposition.

    The episode debuts on November 4th.


    Artist Carlos Pardo spent two years of his life designing an incredibly detailed and awesome blueprint poster of the second Death Star from Return of the Jedi (keep in mind, it's a blue print of the complete Death Star, so that's why it doesn't look how it does in the movie, since it was under construction at the time). There's a Kickstarter campaign going (already over its goal) that will allow you to get a copy, so if you want one, head over there. [io9]


    Check out some cool Day of the Dead inspired Star Wars artwork just in time for Halloween. You can see several more pieces in this style over at Fandango.

    Force Awakens merchandise

    A lot has changed in visual effects since lightsabers were first brought to the big screen in 1977. Not only do they look better because of improved post-production technology, but the props used as reference while shooting on set have changed the way the elegant weapon was used during production. has learned that custom Force FX lightsabers, the expensive electronic prop replicas, were used for several sequences:

    The actors are basically using a custom version of the Force FX lightsabers we can buy at retail. The blades were, however, optimized to give off the right amount of custom glow and illumination for each sequence's lighting demands. They weren't used in every sequence, but in many. This method reportedly allowed for ILM to then step in and color the lightsaber blades to look as we know them in the classic films while the lighting of the blade was naturally cast upon the actor as it would have been if the lightsaber was real and filmed on set. At other times it would allow for light reference. Another reason for the method was that it also made the actors feel like they were really holding a lightsaber, adding another level of immersion for the performers.

    So in some of the night shots we see in the trailer, that glow you see on some of the character's faces and bodies is genuine light captured on film and not created in post-production. That probably made the post-production job for creating lightsabers a little easier, and it should add a level of tangibility to the fictional weapon as well.

    One father made his kid's Halloween extra special this year by turning his wheelchair into a snowspeeder from The Empire Strikes Back. Eight-year old Jeremy has spina bifida, which means he must be in a wheelchair most of the time when he goes out and about. So in order for him to enjoy Halloween just as much as the rest of the kids in the neighborhood, he created this awesome, functional costume. The flaps move, and the lasers actually shoot glowing NERF darts loaded with glow sticks. Happy Halloween, Jeremy!

    If you were missing Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer, the above video should cure all your woes about missing the return of the Jedi.

    That's all for this edition of Star Wars Bits. Stay tuned for more soon.