Force Awakens Bits: Lupita Nyong'o Didn't Know She Was Auditioning For Star Wars, Over $100 Million Tickets Pre-Sold & More

The world premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens took place Monday night in Hollywood, and you've already probably read the first reactions and spoiler-free reviews. But the Force Awakens news bits keep on coming. Lets take a look at the latest Star Wars: The Force Awakens news and tidbits:

  • JJ Abrams confirms that the film's new X-Wing pilot pays tribute to both Lost & the Beastie Boys
  • The Force Awakens Has Already Pre-sold $100 million in tickets
  • If you don't want to play the video games to learn about the Force Awakens prequel, here is the story behind the Battle Of Jakku.
  • Lupita Nyong'o Didn't Realize She Auditioned For Force Awakens
  • Cinematographer Dan Minel explains how he shot The Force Awakens 
  • Check out all the new Force Awakens books and merchandise hitting stores on December 18th.
  • Watch the entire recorded Force Awakens Premiere live stream
  • And the header image was created by artist Jerrod Maruyama, who says "I can't wait to see what JJ does with George's toys!"
  • All this and more in today's Force Awakens Bits. Alright Chewie, Punch it! Hit the jump for hyperspace!

    Lupita Nyong'o as Maz Kanata

    Lupita Nyong’o Didn’t Realize She Auditioned For Force Awakens

    We've heard a lot about the secrecy that went into the development and filming of The Force Awakens but this is ridiculous. Actress Lupita Nyong'o revealed on the Ellen Degeneres show that she didn't even know she was auditioning for Star Wars when she was auditioning for the movie.

    "I didn't really know what I was auditioning for," the actress revealed Tuesday during an appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."Nyong'o committed to the audition with the vague premise that it was for a role in an Abrams-directed film. The audition — during which she read from a substitute script — occurred in 2014, fresh off the actress' Oscar win for  "12 Years a Slave," so her schedule was hectic.

    The Story Behind The Battle Of Jakku

    The Star Wars Battlefront video game features The Battle Of Jakku, which is basically a prequel to The Force Awakens. How did all the wreckage end up in the Jakku sand dunes? Find out in the video above from Star Wars Minute which sums up the entire canonized story.

    First Time Watching Star Wars

    The Force Awakens Has Already Pre-sold $100 million in tickets

    The Force Awakens has destroyed all resale records. As of yesterday, the film has sold more than $100 million worth of tickets for screenings through the new year, while the majority is probably for opening weekend/week. Box Office analysts now project the film will make over $200 million on opening weekend, suggesting it has a chance of besting Jurassic World's $208.8 million opening record. I think these analysts are being conservative as it seems obvious to me that the new Star Wars movie will do much more than the Jurassic World number on release. Here are the worldwide projections from Deadline:

    Overseas, analysts foresee Star Wars: The Force Awakens easily coming close to Jurassic World's $316.7M all-time foreign debut record. All in, to completely beat Jurassic World, the Disney/Lucasfilm title will have to blow-up the Uni film's global opening title of $525.5M.

    Cinematographer Dan Minel Talks Force Awakens

    Cinematographer Dan Mindel talks to the Global Cinematography Institute for 12 minutes about his involvement in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, from the earliest meetings to the shoot itself. The whole discussion is very technical, but if you're interested in that sort of thing, definitely worth watching.

    Art of the force awakens

    All The New Force Awakens Merchandise Hitting On December 18th

    To protect the mainstream public from spoilers, a bunch of Star Wars: The Force Awakens merchandise won't be released until the day the film hits theaters on December 18th. MakingStarWars has a run down of the books, figures and more that will be unleashed later this week.


    New X-Wing Pilot Pays Tribute to Lost & the Beastie Boys

    Previously we've written about X-Wing pilot Ello Asty, and a fan theory that the character might be a tribute to the Beastie Boys. Abrams is notoriously a fan of the rap trio, and has featured their songs in his other films ("Sabotage" can be heard in the first act of Star Trek). Abrams has now confirmed that the character is a tribute to the group's 1998 album "Hello Nasty" as well as his ABC series Lost (the name phonetically spells out the title – El-Lo-As-Ty). Here is what Abrams told Yahoo! Movies:

    "It is for me. But I'd be lying if I said I came up with that name. It was suggested to me from the creature department. And I loved it for that reason, because it referenced the album, and also because it spells out Lost. And so both of those felt like, they were funny reasons to approve that name. Some names came from the creature department; some came from us, from me, from other people I'm working with. But it was one of the things that just felt like something funny that people might smile at."

    Another cool detail you probably wouldn't notice is that the Aurebesh writing on his helmet translates to "Born to Ill," an homage to the Beastie Boys' breakout 1986 album "Licensed to Ill." Ello Asty is part of the Abednedo species, which ties into Beastie Boys song 'Shadrach', where the group references the Judaeo-Christian parable of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

    Watch Footage of Daisy Ridley and John Boyega Training For The Movie

    A new video has been released showing Daisy Ridley training for the role of Rey, and John Boeyga learning how to lightsaber duel as Finn.

    Watch The Entire Force Awakens Premiere Live Stream

    In case you missed it live, the entire live-stream of the Force Awakens premiere has been uploaded to YouTube. You can watch it now embedded above.