The Walt Disney Corporation rocked the science fiction world when it announced it would produce a brand new trilogy of Star Wars films; purchasing the franchise, along with the rest of Lucasfilm Ltd, for $4.05 billion. Since the word first came down, we’ve learned that the first film, slated for 2015, will be written by Toy Story 3 writer Michael Arndt. We then learned that the subsequent two, spaced roughly two to three years apart, would be penned by The Empire Strikes Back co-author Lawrence Kasdan and the writer of X-Men: The Last Stand, Simon Kinberg. Finally, the big shocker: JJ Abrams, the director behind the recently-rebooted Star Trek franchise, would be directing the first film in the new Star Wars trilogy, simultaneously controlling the destinies of two of the genre’s biggest properties.
Hopes run high among the Star Wars faithful that Disney will be able to restore the franchise to its earlier heights. For its part, Disney has already moved to distance itself from the George Lucas-directed prequels: the company put off Lucasfilm’s plans to re-release Episodes II and III of the saga in 3D in order to focus "100 percent" on the new films.
Aug 16, 2016
Legendary composer John Williams has confirmed that he will be working on the music for Star Wars: Episode VIII, a move sure to calm the fears of fans who would have a tricky time imagining Star Wars without his iconic scores. Speaking on stage during a Boston performance of his various compositions, Williams told the crowd that he had seen an early cut of the movie, and would begin work on its score in the coming weeks.Read Article >
Aug 13, 2015
I’m on Industrial Light & Magic’s motion capture stage, standing inside what they call “the cave.” It’s not much to look at: two big screens angled at 90 degrees, awash in a smeary blur of images. But put on a pair of modified 3D glasses, and bam — it’s the Holodeck, and I’m on Tatooine standing face to face with one of the most famous robots in movie history. I walk around C-3PO, crouching one moment then jumping the next. The mo-cap performer across the room raises his hand, and the CG Threepio waves. It’s exhilarating and immersive, and it’s all happening in real time.Read Article >
The cave is a place for filmmakers to test out worlds that don’t exist yet, and for ILM to demo and build augmented reality experiences for its recently unveiled skunkworks division, ILMxLab. The lab is a developmental playground for any and all kind of interactive or immersive experience. Virtual reality, AR, theme park attractions; it’s all up for grabs, uniting decades of visual effects expertise, computer wizardry, and Lucasfilm’s own creative team into a self-contained entertainment studio of the future.
Jun 23, 2015
I was standing in a replica of the Hoth Rebel base from The Empire Strikes Back, part of a massive line to check out the multiplayer demo of EA’s upcoming title Star Wars: Battlefront. Dry ice pumped in from somewhere, and as we waited, an R2-D2 unit in the corner made the occasional deedly-bleep-boop. I asked the man in front of me how long he’d been waiting to try the game. “Three hours,” he said.Read Article >
Make no mistake: Star Wars was huge at E3 this year. Along with Battlefront, three other titles were either shown off or announced during the show. Disney Infinity 3.0 adds characters and locations from the franchise to the game’s cast of Pixar, Disney, and Marvel faces. BioWare’s Knights of the Fallen Empire expands its MMORPG The Old Republic with a new series of episodic storylines, and during its press conference EA announced Galaxy of Heroes, a card collecting game for mobile devices. While the last few years of Star Wars gaming have been full of chaos and cancellations, Disney and Lucasfilm are now opening the floodgates with a coordinated blitzkrieg designed to bring Star Wars to every possible gaming audience in the galaxy — if people don't get sick of it first.
May 28, 2015
We've got less than seven months before J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters, and details about the film continue to slowly reveal themselves. In an interview with photographer Annie Leibovitz — who shot the recent Vanity Fair spread on the new film — StarWars.com has announced the name of Andy Serkis' character: Supreme Leader Snoke.Read Article >
Unfortunately that's the only thing that's revealed at the moment, but the interview is paired with a Leibovitz picture of the actor in his full motion-capture gear, and judging from the snarl on his face Snoke is most certainly going to be a bad guy. Serkis is one of only a handful of characters we've heard actually speak so far, with his voice — "There's been an awakening... have you felt it?" — opening the original Force Awakens teaser last November. The other big reveal from the Vanity Fair spread was that Game of Thrones' Gwendoline Christie was the actor inside the metal stormtrooper gear of Captain Phasma (that name, by the way, is easily the most Phantom Menace-y thing about the new movie thus far).
Here at Star Wars Celebration, EA is showing off its upcoming game Star Wars: Battlefront, and we really like what we’ve seen thus far. But while the game largely exists in the world of the original trilogy, a free piece of downloadable content announced today will connect J.J. Abrams’ film with the originals in a very direct way — and gives us some new clues about the world of The Force Awakens.Read Article >
One of the reveals during yesterday’s panel was that the sandy planet seen in the teasers isn’t Luke’s home of Tatooine, but rather a world called Jakku. It’s where Daisy Ridley’s character Rey lives, and in the new trailer a downed Star Destroyer and X-Wing fighter can be seen off in the distance. If that seems like evidence of a great battle, that’s because it is. According to Battlefront design director Niklas Fegraeus, who previewed the game to the press yesterday, after the Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi the Rebel Alliance and the Empire met up again for a final "pivotal" showdown that shaped the future of the galaxy. That massive fight was the Battle of Jakku — and it’s going to be playable in Battlefront as a free download.
I remember the first time I played Star Wars: Dark Forces back in 1995. It’s an oldie, but it was a goodie: a first-person shooter that put you inside a little corner of the Star Wars universe, where you could battle it out with blasters and thermal detonators to your heart’s content. It was primitive, sure, but it gave me a little glimpse of what it would be like to play a game that actually took me inside some of my favorite movies. "Someday," I thought.Read Article >
Here at Star Wars Celebration, EA DICE has taken the wraps off the long-awaited reboot of Star Wars: Battlefront, and I think that someday may be awfully close.
Apr 16, 2015
We're still eight months away from the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but a new trailer just premiered at the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, and it gives us our first look at a few of the original cast members: Han Solo, Chewbaca, and what appears to be a hooded Luke Skywalker.Read Article >
Narrated by Skywalker (Mark Hamill), the trailer starts by panning past the wreck of a Star Destroyer on a planet called Jakku — not Tatooine, as J.J. Abrams clarified during today's event.
Mar 12, 2015
Episode VIII will arrive more than one year after The Force Awakens, which is coming December 18th of this year. In between that will be the first standalone Star Wars film, which is now known as Rogue One, which is scheduled for December 16th, 2016. That spinoff is being directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) and written by Chris Weitz (Antz, The Golden Compass). The Theory of Everything's Felicity Jones is the first and so far only confirmed casting for Rogue One.Read Article >
Feb 4, 2015
Your chance to take selfies with Yoda, Han Solo, and Chewbacca is almost here — dead-eyed wax versions of the Star Wars heroes, at least. London's venerable waxwork museum, Madame Tussauds, is opening a special multi-million dollar Star Wars show this May in the British capital, in collaboration with Disney and Lucasfilm. The exhibition will recreate 11 sets from the two Star Wars movie trilogies, including Yoda's swampy home on the planet of Dagobah, the Millennium Falcon's cockpit, and the Mos Eisley cantina where either Greedo or Han shot first, depending on who you believe.Read Article >
The exhibition comes only six months ahead of the release of the seventh Star Wars film, The Force Awakens, but it won't feature any waxy versions of characters from the new movie. Instead, Madame Tussauds will play host to 16 heroes and villains from Star Wars Episodes I to VI, including Luke's guide in the ways of the force, Yoda. The diminutive Jedi Master — 900 years old at the time of his appearance in The Empire Strikes Back — is the focus of a short video put out by Madame Tussauds, in which the museum's staff explain how they sculpted his wrinkly face out of clay before coating it in resin and filling the resultant mold with wax. To complete the look, the museum's sculptors jabbed long white hairs into waxwork Yoda's skin — a process that will presumably take longer when they get around to creating their inanimate Chewbacca.
Dec 11, 2014
J.J. Abrams has benevolently cracked open his mystery box and put some names to the faces we saw in the first teaser for The Force Awakens. And in a nod to the long-running tradition of Star Wars and marketing tie-ins, he and Lucasfilm have opted to roll them out via a set of trading cards over at Entertainment Weekly. The images are at the link, and the confirmed names are below:Read Article >
Dec 6, 2014
By this time next year, the crossguard lightsaber seen in the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser will be in every toy store for about $25 (our estimate based on current market value for plastic lightsaber toys). But why wait? If you happen to have access to a 3D printer, you can create your own 3D printer using these files provided by Le FabShop and a lot of PLA filament. Then, present the lightsaber to your most pedantic friends to argue (in a physical space) whether or not the hilt is really protective, hazardous, or just really cool. (Full-length black cowl and the gravely voice of Andy Serkis are not included.)Read Article >
Dec 4, 2014Read Article >
What if Star Wars was a bit less serious, a touch more humorous, and a lot more French? Well, it'd look an awful lot like a trailer for a Wes Anderson-directed movie, which is exactly what director Jonah Feingold has produced. Posting his remix of the now week-old Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser, Feingold plays with the tropes that typify Anderson's work — vibrant colors, dry wit, and a levity about serious matters — to completely reset the mood of the new Star Wars film. There's less menace to this imagined adventure and more je ne sais quois. For his part, Anderson has already said that he'd probably make a bad director for a Star Wars film because, as he puts it, "I don’t know if I have all the right action chops."
Dec 2, 2014
With the first Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser out of the way and talked about ad infinitum, the next big question is: what's next? Well, looks like we'll be waiting at most half a year: SlashFilm reports (and sound logic dictates) that the next Star Wars trailer will play before Disney's very large superhero blockbuster sequel, Avengers: Age of Ultron. That's scheduled for release May 1st, 2015, which also happens to be the weekend before May 4th — aka Star Wars Day. ("May the Fourth / Force Be With You." Get it?)Read Article >
That all seems obvious enough, but what about the 165 or so days before Marvel's next film? There are two big Disney films in between (Into the Woods on Christmas Day and Cinderella on March 13th), but those don't necessarily seem as obvious of a tie-in as, say, the Super Bowl. Plus Abrams and company have been (mostly) good about keeping the excitement going online through various teasers. We probably won't get any major reveals, however — by our count, there are about six newcomers and all the returning players whose faces we've yet see — until some tentpole event.
Dec 1, 2014
While we don't know the plot for the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens, last week's debut trailer hinted strongly that John Boyega, i.e. "the first person we see in the trailer," will have a leading role. Boyega happens to be wearing a stormtrooper suit in the teaser. He also happens to be black, which, oddly enough, has unnerved some people who don't like the idea of black stormtroopers.Read Article >
In a post on Instagram this weekend, Boyega had this to say:
Nov 29, 2014
Maybe you've seen the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer 500 times already. Maybe you haven't — that'd be just over 12 hours, which is ridiculous. But have you seen it in Lego?Read Article >
Nov 28, 2014
Whether or not you were in a theater, we all got our first glimpse of Star Wars: The Force Awakens today. The long-awaited teaser showed off some familiar settings, briefly introduced us to a few new characters, and debuted a cross-shaped lightsaber that has already become both a meme and a source of heated debate. There's just a handful of scenes, and it's been online for less than 12 hours, but that's apparently enough time for the creative hive-mind of the internet to start churning out some stellar fan art.Read Article >
Nov 28, 2014
When Lucasfilm announced it was killing the Star Wars Expanded Universe, I was heartbroken. The galaxy George Lucas had dreamed up took form in the original movies, but it was populated and fully realized by the authors, artists, and video game developers that helped build Star Wars' back stories. Now, like a blaster taken to my childhood memories, that Expanded Universe was gone. I thought the damage would be permanent.Read Article >
But I've just seen the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer. I've seen it, and I want to go back to the galaxy far, far away right now. I don't mind that Luke won't ever meet Mara, I don't mind that the Yuuzhan Vong are scrubbed from existence. I don't even care that this is now a universe that will potentially never feature cybernetically advanced Ewok pilot Lieutenant Kettch. The trailer shows that the new movie still has the symbols of the soul of Star Wars — X-Wings and TIE fighters and the Millennium Falcon thrown into frenetic aerial dog fights.
Nov 28, 2014
It's here — everywhere, in fact. The first official trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens has gone live in theaters and online. The 88-second teaser is rich with details, full of actual footage and surprise reveals (lightsabers! TIE fighters!).Read Article >
Just in case you missed anything, we've pulled out all the key moments. Did we miss anything important? Let us know!
Nov 28, 2014
It's finally here: a first look at the new Star Wars. The teaser trailer runs 88-seconds long and is available to watch online and in theaters starting today. Here's all you need to know: it looks really, really good. The trailer gives a first glimpse at a lot of the new and returning stars, but it also shows just how great a job director J.J. Abrams' appears to have done in putting back together the Star Wars universe. A great score from John Williams elevates that even further. This isn't much for now, but it ought to get fans' hopes way up.Read Article >
While this is only a short glimpse at The Force Awakens, this is the first look that we've gotten at all. That's partly because Disney has been incredibly secretive about the production of Episode VII, but it's also for a much simpler reason: the movie still isn't done. Filming wrapped at the beginning of the month, but the movie is still a long way from completion. That'll be especially true for its special-effects shots, which are likely far from complete at this point — and certainly not at a stage where most can be shown off.
Nov 26, 2014Read Article >
You won't have to head to the movies to see the trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Friday. Star Wars' official Twitter account sent out a message this afternoon saying that the trailer would be published Friday on iTunes. Lucasfilm initially announced that you would have to head out to one of just 30 movie theaters in order to see the trailer, so this is a big change — and one that may even make a bigger impact. It's not clear if this was the plan all along, but it doesn't seem like it. If that's the case, it's possible that the trailer is going up early in response to some fans' disappointment that they'd be unable to see it. No specific time was given for when the trailer will go online.
Nov 24, 2014
Update November 26th, 5:20PM: Disney has just announced the trailer will now be available for everyone online this Friday, free of charge.Read Article >
This week, large swaths of Star Wars fans will pay upwards of $15 for a ticket to The Penguins of Madagascar and walk out before the movie even starts. The "world premiere" first trailer for Episode VII: The Force Awakens will debut this Friday in 30 theaters (28 in the US and two Canada) — potentially more, but the messaging is clear that this is an offline, ticketed event.
Nov 24, 2014
The first trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be debuting in a small number of theaters across North America on Friday. Lucasfilm announced that the trailer will play before movies at 30 theaters starting this Friday and continuing through the weekend:Read Article >
The trailer runs for 88 seconds and will begin playing worldwide on Monday. Regal Cinemas says that the trailer will be playing before all of the movies it's showing, and it's likely that that will be the case at other theaters as well.
Nov 6, 2014
Star Wars Episode: VII finally has a subtitle: The Force Awakens. Disney quietly announced the title on Twitter this morning — a somewhat strange approach to what is easily the most anticipated film in production right now. The title feels like a very classic Star Wars name, and it manages to create that feeling even without directly mimicking a prior title. That's no surprise given that director J.J. Abrams has made it clear that Episode VII is meant to feel like an extension of the original trilogy. He's said to be leaning heavily on practical effects, and the fact that he's brought back much of the original cast should help a good deal too.Read Article >
Disney also confirmed reports that filming has wrapped on Episode VII. That doesn't mean it's particularly close to a release, though: the film is still scheduled for December 18th of next year. Disney still hasn't confirmed who will be writing and directing Episode VIII, though at this point Rian Johnson has made it pretty clear that reports of him taking charge are accurate. He's believed to be writing the treatment for Episode IX as well. It's not known if Abrams will have any involvement in the later movies.
Nov 3, 2014Read Article >
Star Wars: Episode VII is believed to have wrapped filming with the cast and crew attending a huge party over the weekend to celebrate. In addition to a going off party, it also appears that the film's cast and crew received a note signed by director J.J. Abrams and producers Kathleen Kennedy and Bryan Burke, thanking them for working on Episode VII. The note was tweeted out on Friday and has since been pulled, but the image was rehosted by SlashFilm. You can see the letter and read a transcription below. Then, there's just about a little over a year to go before you can finally watch the movie. It's scheduled for a release on December 18th, 2015.
Oct 16, 2014Read Article >
Star Wars: Episode VII doesn't have a subtitle yet, but maybe it should be called Return of the Ewok. Warwick Davis, the actor who played the charismatic Ewok warrior Wicket W. Warrick in Return of the Jedi, popped up in a new video today to gleefully announce he had received a call to return to a galaxy far, far, away. The 44-year-old Davis comically shows off his enthusiasm with a false beard, but doesn't specify exactly what role he will be playing, or whether Ewoks will appear in Star Wars: Episode VII at all. In fact, Davis could easily be playing another character entirely, or even several new characters, as he did in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (he played young Anakin Skywalker's Rodian friend Wald and two other aliens). Nonetheless, Davis's casting shows that director J.J. Abrams is clearly set on bringing back even more iconic actors from the original trilogy, and it would make sense that some Ewoks would appear in a new film since it takes place after their heroic assistance to the Rebels in the Battle of Endor in ROTJ. We'll find out soon enough: Star Wars: Episode VII is set to hit theaters on December 18th, 2015.