The Force Awakens Bits: 'The Simpsons' Prediction, 3D-Printed BB-8, Writer Avoided Spoilers For Three Years

Did you hear that a little movie called Star Wars: The Force Awakens is out in theaters? Yeah, some tiny indie thing. People really seem to like it, though. That's why we're regularly rounding up all of the little stories about it that you may have missed elsewhere. In today's edition:

  • The Simpsons predicted the current Star Wars vs Chipmunks showdown
  • The Star Wars: Card Trader app gets awakened with new updates
  • How one writer saw The Force Awakens completely spoiler-free
  • Just how much money did Harrison Ford make to play Han Solo again?
  • The origin stories of Kylo Ren and Finn
  • Neil DeGrasse Tyson trolls Star Wars fans on Twitter
  • The Onion reviews The Force Awakens
  • Someone has successfully 3D-printed their own BB-8
  • Kevin Smith chats about The Force Awakens for 40 minutes
  • The Simpsons doesn't always have its finger on the pulse of popular culture these days, but the immortal animated series still manages to speak great truths every once in awhile. For example, the episode "Homer the Whopper," which premiered in 2009, suggested a time when a new Star Wars movie would open against an Alvin and the Chipmunks movie (as seen above). Bonus points are awarded because the fictitious title for that Star Wars sequel could very well also be the title for The Force Awakens. A tip of the hat to Mashable for this one.card trader 4

    The powerful time and money suck that is the Star Wars: Card Trader app will now include cards inspired by Star Wars: The Force Awakens. You know, just in case you needed to obsess over your digital collection a little bit more. Check out a few examples of what to expect in the gallery below.

    As you can see, the next app update will include concept art cards, story cards (painted versions of scenes from the film), armory cards (closer looks at blasters and weapons), and more.

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    Thrillist Entertainment editor Matt Patches has spent the past three years avoiding Star Wars: The Force Awakens spoilers of any kind. No trailers, no posters, no photos, no rumors. Nothing. As the only person on the planet who walked into the movie this blind, his observations have been fascinating. His huge post on how he accomplished this and how it transformed his experience is hilarious and thoughtful must-read. A quick sample:

    "Spoiler-dodging, as you may glean from the countless "DUDE, WTF!!" comments cluttering your choice social media, is tiresome. As friends noted early on, my profession made this an especially ridiculous trial. Fair. The easy solution would have been to move to Ted Kaczynski's abandoned cabin in Montana and live a hermit life until pre-sale tickets were up for grabs, but life was a priority. And with no such thing as "getting off the Internet" in 2015, workarounds were a must. I un-bookmarked websites frequented for confectionary amusement. I muted and unfollowed friends with crossover interests. I spent $10 for a Twitter app that blocked key phrases like "Chewbacca," "lightsaber," and "SW" (apologies to Tilda SWinton and Taylor SWift, collateral damage in the purge). A Facebook plug-in disabled all things Star Wars from my feed, reducing the platform to a numbing stream of cat photos, self-help confessions, and chain-letter re-shares.

    Over many months, I'd devolve into a skittish paranoid who bolts out of pre-screening entertainment, declines Star Wars-related writing assignments to keep up this nonsense, and browse the web with one hand blocking the screen, alway cautious of a Star Wars-themed banner. That's what you do if you want to check the front page of The New York Times without catching a glimpse of the Force Awakens poster. In the final weeks, with Episode VII mania at its loudest, I installed an pop-up blockade that dimmed the screen and flashed a warning whenever the crawler hit a webpage mentioning Star Wars. Which was Every. Fucking. Page."

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    In news that shouldn't surprise anyone who pauses to think about it for more than three seconds, Variety has revealed that Harrison Ford was paid significantly more than his co-stars for his work in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Because he's Harrison Ford, he was able to command a salary of $10-$20 million, which is about what you'd expect from a movie star of his stature.

    Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill made significantly less (the "low seven figure range"), but their roles in the film are also much smaller and they aren't one of the most famous actors in the history of the film medium. As for the newcomers, the more established Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver received "mid to high-six figures" paychecks while the lesser known Daisy Ridley and John Boyega pocketed somewhere between $100k and $300k.tyson

    Every time a science fiction movie opens in theaters, renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson takes to Twitter to pick apart the film's science (or lack of it). However, since Star Wars: The Force Awakens is more of a fantasy adventure than a proper sci-fi film, he decided to just troll everyone:

    Oh, that Neil deGrasse Tyson is a real rascal.

    The Onion has reviewed Star Wars: The Force Awakens and it is the only review you will ever need.Star Wars The Force Awakens lens flare

    One of the weakest links in The Force Awakens is how the film obfuscates the relationship between the Resistance, the First Order, and the New Republic. However, a new article at The Hollywood Reporter argues that totally ineffectual Republic, which may or not be completely destroyed at this point, may be part of a larger point:

    "The Republic that exists in The Force Awakens is barely a presence at all; certainly one that matters far less than either the Resistance or the First Order in terms of importance to the story, and to the survival of the galaxy as everyone knows it. But that aim, in itself, becomes problematic because of the lack of Republic presence in the story. Why fight to maintain the status quo, if the status quo means supporting a Republic that isn't seen to defend its citizens?"

    So, could future films dwell on the fact that the Resistance is fighting to preserve a governing body that let a bunch of space Nazis build a sun-sucking super weapon? Maybe?


    Yes, this is the 3D-printed full-size BB-8 you've been looking for! It doesn't move yet, but its creator (a member of the BB-8 Builders Club, which a thing that actually exists!) wants to rectify that soon.

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    If you thought the online reaction to Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been overwhelmingly positive, well, that's because it has. According to Ben Carlson, the co-creator of Fizziology (which tracks social media stats like this), response this positive to a movie this big is unprecedented in the internet age. From a Variety article:

    To get its results, the social media research firm recorded 1,517,824 tweets about the film from the time it began screening on Thursday through the end of Sunday. It found that 70% of comments for the picture were positive, with the other 29% a neutral reaction that was generally focusing on the film's box office performance rather than its critical merits.

    "Usually some segment of the audience is disappointed," said Carlson. "But there wasn't much people didn't like about this one. People loved all the characters, loved all the major plot points, and are trying desperately not to put any spoilers in their tweets."

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    Screenwriter and omnipresent social media figure Max Landis ignited an internet firestorm over the weekend when he called Daisy Ridley's a "Mary Sue," saying that she was too hyper-competent for her own good and that her lack of disadvantages weaken her as a character. Although you can poke holes in his argument (aren't Luke Skywalker and Harry Potter also Mary Sues by this logic?), he did kindly respond to /Film's own Peter Sciretta when he inquired what everyone was getting so angry about.

    So we'll just leave this here and let you make up your own mind.

    The YouTube series Star Wars Minute has dedicated an episode to Adam Driver's Kylo Ren, running down everything we know about the character so far. It's not too much, but those gaps in his history sure are tantalizing. Why do we have a feeling this character will continue to shatter our hearts in the movies ahead? Oh, and this video is nothing but spoilers.

    And oh, would you look at that! Here's an origins video for John Boyega's Finn, too. Once again: BIG spoilers lurk here.

    Filmmaker/podcaster/geek icon Kevin Smith has devoted an entire episode of his show Fat Man on Batman to chatting about The Force Awakens. You can't take a single step without stumbling over Star Wars right now. You can't even find refuge in a Batman-themed YouTube video series. Hey, there are worse problems to be having, right?

    That's all for this edition of The Force Awakens Bits. Stay tuned for more soon.