Star Wars The Force Awakens Kanjiklub

The now-Oscar-nominated VFX team of Star Wars: The Force Awakens is making the press rounds, and they’ve got a lot of interesting details to share. After the jump:

  • A fan reimagines The Force Awakens as a high school saga.
  • Does the Force Awakens score hint at Rey’s parentage?
  • The Force Awakens crosses $1 billion at the international box office.
  • Was Maz Kanata in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace?
  • Confirmed: BB-8 was giving Finn a thumbs-up, not flipping him off.
  • Meet Cailey Fleming, who played young Rey in The Force Awakens.
  • Here’s how the Star Wars crew brought BB-8 to life.
  • More Easter eggs have been revealed by the VFX team.
  • Get a detailed description of a deleted scene featuring Maz Kanata.
  • Flip through hi-res stills of Unkar Plutt, Admiral Ackbar, and more.

Force Awakens high school AU

Tumblr user dc9spot imagines Star Wars: The Force Awakens as a high school saga, and it’s pretty damn cute. Cutest of all, of course, is BB-8 as an orange-and-white Scottish Fold kitten. Read the whole comic here.

One fan has noticed (via Popsugar) that the last minute and a half of John WilliamsThe Force Awakens score sounds awfully familiar — kind of like a combination of Luke’s theme and Rey’s theme, perhaps. Is this further proof that Rey is really Luke’s daughter? Or does it just reflect the fact that Luke and Rey are together at the end of the movie?

Star Wars The Force Awakens starkiller base 3

For the first weekend since it hit theaters, Star Wars: The Force Awakens was not the #1 film at the U.S. box office, getting beaten by both Ride Along 2 and The Revenant. Overseas, meanwhile, the film has crossed yet another big milestone. As of this weekend, The Force Awakens is only the fifth film in movie history to cross $1 billion at the foreign box office. It also just crossed $100 million in China, which isn’t too shabby considering Star Wars isn’t the pop culture juggernaut over there that it is here. Alas, while it opened at #1 there, it’s already dropped down to #2 in its second weekend, falling behind something called Boonie Bears 3.

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We officially met Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong’o) for the first time in The Force Awakens, but is it possible we actually got our first look at her many years ago? Some eagle-eyed Star Wars fans have noted a striking resemblance between the wizened smuggler and a random prop that appeared in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. Take a look above and tell us what you think. Is this a random coincidence? A reverse Easter egg? Is that actually Maz Kanata herself, or just another figure who looks like her? Keep in mind that Maz is over a thousand years old — she was definitely around in the Phantom Menace days. Though that still wouldn’t explain why there’s a statue of her in circulation.

BB-8 thumbs up

BB-8 has many, many amazing moments in The Force Awakens, and one of his best is when he gives Finn a droid version of a thumbs-up after agreeing to help him. Or so most people thought. Apparently, some fans thought BB-8 was flipping Finn the bird. Which doesn’t really make any sense in context: why would BB-8 want to be rude to Finn in that moment? But just to clear up any doubt, The Nerdy Bird has dug up some rock-solid confirmation that BB-8 is, in fact, offering a thumbs-up.

In an interview with MTV, both Neal Scanlan and Roger Guyett describe the gesture as a “thumbs up.” ILM’s Patrick Tubach even notes they took pains to ensure the movement would not be misinterpreted. “One of the difficult things with animating something like that is you have to be very careful that it doesn’t look like he’s giving you some other sort of gesture!” he said. “We moved all the pieces around to make sure it was very clearly a thumbs up over any other kind of ‘salute.’”

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