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In case you're just coming out of a coma for the past three years, you're probably well aware that Star Wars: The Force Awakens is premiering on December 18. The Force is already strong with moviegoers, with over $50 million in advanced tickets sold, shattering the previous pre-sales box office record of $25 million set by The Dark Knight Rises in 2012. Unfortunately, there has been some "controversy" along the way as well, with a select group of fans reacting negatively to the first trailer, where John Boyega's Finn is first seen as a Stormtrooper. During an appearance on Howard Stern's radio program, Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams reveals that he doesn't understand why some people have a problem with a black Stormtrooper. When Stern says he doesn't understand the problem, the filmmaker responded with the following.
"Neither did I. All I know is that John Boyega is extraordinary in the movie. »
The scene in the Mos Eisley Cantina in A New Hope is possibly the most iconic scene in the entirety of Star Wars, and not just because of the Han Solo - Greedo shoot out. It's the moment that really seals the deal on the entire intergalactic nature of it all. It's got weird aliens in surprisingly normal clothing boozing with each other all while a alien band plays funky space music. It's perfect. It shouldn't be surprising, then, to learn J.J. Abrams wanted his own version of the Cantina scene in The Force Awakens. In the case of the new movie, the new cantina is basically the home of Lupita Nyong'o's alien character, Maz Kanata. Like the bar on Mos Esiley, it'll be filled with alien characters (some are pictured above) and also alien...
- Peter Hall
With just 17 days left until Star Wars: The Force Awakens arrives, it seems that most of the film's secrets will remain intact until opening day. While we'll surely be treated to more clips and TV spots over the next three weeks, it seems unlikely that we'll ever get an official glimpse at Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), or learn the surnames of Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega) until this highly-anticipated adventure hits theaters. Director J.J. Abrams has already started his promotional tour for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last night, where he did reveal that he co-wrote music for a new Cantina scene with none other than Broadway sensation Lin-Manuel Miranda, who created and stars in the hit musical Hamilton.
The latest Disney Channel promo for J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens places the focus on the new saga droid, Bb-8. In addition to seeing the little guy interact with R2-D2 (think there’ll be a rivalry there?) behind the scenes, there’s also some new footage of him in action with Rey, and of the Jakku scavenger piloting the Millennium Falcon.
In addition to the promo, Disney and Lucasfilm have announced that the movie will be released in China on January 9th, just weeks after its North American premiere.
General Manager of Walt Disney China, John Hsu, released the following statement:
We are thrilled to bring Star Wars: The Force Awakens to China on January 9th. We’re excited to be rolling out our marketing campaign and to connect with new fans in China through Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is already expected »
- Mark Cassidy
On a recent visit to “The Howard Stern Show,” “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” director J.J. Abrams recalled his experience of screening the first cut of the movie, which had no visual effects, for Disney execs Bob Iger, Alan Horn and Alan Bergman.
“We screened the movie, and it was horrifying,” Abrams admitted. “I’m nervous beyond words, I’m showing this movie that I know is so far from finished, there’s not an effect in it…”
Abrams said he was even trying to temper their expectations before they saw the film: “It was a lot of me giving excuses before the screening,” he said. “I’m reading their body language while they’re watching it … I couldn’t tell if they were miserable or in ecstasy.”
Apparently, he needn’t have worried, because hearing their positive reaction after the screening was “the biggest relief of my life. And »
- Jacob Bryant
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… there was Star Wars Bits, your round-up of all the Star Wars news you need to know. In this edition: J.J. Abrams explains why he turned down Star Wars: The Force Awakens. J.J. Abrams then explains why he finally accepted the gig. James Gunn says […]
- Jacob Hall
Throughout 2015 there has been a concerted effort to try and close the gap of gender inequality in Hollywood. Unfortunately, things don’t get any easier for older actresses. Either roles just aren’t written for you at all, or even when you’re asked to return as one of the most iconic characters in cinematic history it’s also requested that you lose a substantial amount of weight. Just ask Carrie Fisher, who was told that she needed to lose 35 pounds in order to portray Princess Leia again. It’s been 38 years since Fisher last starred as Leia in 1983’s The Return Of The Jedi, and even though a key ingredient in J.J. Abrams’ plan for Star Wars: The Force Awakens was to mix new characters with the old, he had some physical requirements for the older actors. As Carrie Fisher »
We all know that Star Wars: The Force Awakens is going to be one of the biggest box office successes of all time, but if the latest box office tracking is anything to go by, it’s not going to have any problem toppling James Cameron’s Avatar to become the biggest film in history.
According to analyst Barton Crockett (via THR), The Force Awakens is looking at a potential $1 billion domestic haul, along with a further $2.5 billion from international markets. That would give it a whopping $3.5 billion worldwide, and a nice $2.7 billion profit for Disney. The current box office champ Avatar grossed $2.788 billion when it was released at the back end of 2009.
See Also: UK cinema chains adding extra premium to Star Wars: The Force Awakens tickets in first week of release
Of course, as this year has proven already, tracking means very little, but with The Force Awakens’ release fast approaching, »
- Gary Collinson
Actress/writer Carrie Fisher has never been one to shy away from voicing her opinions on a number of issues both in and out of the Star Wars realm. Back in October, she offered sex advice to her Star Wars: The Force Awakens co-star Daisy Ridley, revealing that dating is more difficult, and that she should fight for her outfit, and not be a "slave" like she was. With just under three weeks until Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters, Carrie Fisher revealed in an interview with Good Housekeeping that she was pressured to lose 35 pounds for the movie. Here's what the actress had to say.
"They don't want to hire all of me - only about three-quarters! Nothing changes, it's an appearance-driven thing. I'm in a business where the only thing that matters is weight and appearance. That is so messed up. They might as well say get younger, »
Broadway songsmiths from Irving Berlin to Frank Loesser and John Kander love a Hollywood gig, so maybe it’s no surprise that the composer-writer-star of the Main Stem’s biggest hit is also playing a small room in a galaxy far, far away. Lin-Manuel Miranda struck up a conversation with Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams during intermission of Miranda’s Hamilton on a night the star wasn’t performing in the title role. When it turned out that Abrams was… »
At least two UK cinema chains, Odeon and Vue, are set to charge an extra ticket premium for showings of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in the first week of the blockbuster’s December release.
See Also: Watch the final trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Den of Geek has reported that Odeon is charging an extra £1 on top of their pre-existing £1 premium for new blockbusters, creating an overall £2 uplift on tickets for the latest Star Wars outing.
This new price increase comes on the heels of the extra 50p added to opening week tickets of newest Bond movie Spectre by the cinema chain.
The Vue cinema chain also adds a premium to tickets for blockbuster movies on their opening.
A spokesperson for Odeon told Den of Geek: “Like many cinemas, »
- Tom Beasley
Spoiler alert: The new "Star Wars" movie will have some kind of Cantina scene. And it will have music, and that music has been written by director J.J. Abrams and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Abrams broke the news on "The Tonight Show," explaining that he went to see Miranda's ridiculously successful Broadway show "Hamilton." While Miranda wasn't playing the titular character that night, he approached Abrams during the intermission to say hi and joked about writing the music for the Cantina. It turns out there will be a Cantina scene (or, as Abrams described it "our version of the Cantina scene), and film composer John Williams had already told Abrams he didn't want to write the music for it. So Miranda and Abrams managed to carve out some time in their busy schedules (Miranda tweeted that he worked on it for an hour and a half two days a week for the »
- Sara Morrison
I try not to be one of those types who explodes in rage at things people say. Most of the time they’re just doing marketing stuff, answering questions in a casual way, »
- Sasha Stone
"Star Wars" takes the cake as one of the most iconic films of all time. Yet within "Star Wars," there are many iconic scenes that stand out within the movie itself. Perhaps one these iconic scenes is the cantina scene from "A New Hope." Back in 1977, the scene almost looked like it was pulled out of a western--of course with some science fantasy-esque modifications, and it went a long way in establishing the "lived-in" world that "Star Wars" became so well known for. But one of the most memorable things in the scene has to be the music.
Since "A New Hope's" release, it's been parodied a thousand times over, solidifying its place in the pop culture aether. As iconic as it is, one wouldn't expect director J.J. Abrams to try and emulate the scene in the upcoming "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" film, would he? While one wouldn't call it emulating, »
- Joseph Medina
Two of the biggest sensations in pop culture right now are coming together — the hotly-anticipated "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" and the hugely popular Broadway musical "Hamilton."
On "The Tonight Show," director J.J. Abrams revealed that "Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote new music for a cantina scene in "Force Awakens." It happened after Abrams met Miranda after a performance of the Broadway show.
"He says, 'If you need music for the cantina, I'll write it,'" Abrams said. Little did MIranda know that Abrams did, in fact, need new music for the cantina!
"I end up emailing Lin Miranda, and I say, 'I know you were kidding, but if you actually want to write this music, I'm actually working on something,'" Abrams explained. "He's like, 'I'll drop everything.'"
The normally spoiler-averse Abrams pointed out that nobody knew about MIranda's involvement. And even the "Hamilton" creator didn't know the »
- Kelly Woo
When Star Wars: The Force Awakens arrives in theaters later this month, we'll finally get to see Carrie Fisher reprise her iconic role as Leia Organa. But will she still be the same person? Despite tranitioning from a Princess to a War General, director J.J. Abrams thinks so. Though the woman now carries a lot of baggage. Abrams broke down the character's 30 year transformation during a Sirius Xm town hall on Monday. And here's what he had to say about the Leia we knew at the end of Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi in 1983, and the new Leia we'll be introduced to in this upcoming sequel.
"I think it's sort of like any of us, you like to think you evolve and go through life experiences and become something else. But the truth is we're all kind of who we are. My guess is most of us would say, »
Image via The Howard Stern Show
A few short years ago, it was a huge mystery as to who was to carry on the legacy of the "Star Wars" franchise. Rumors were all over the place as to who would further the world that George Lucas created back in 1977. Whoever took over the franchise would be facing immense pressure, and no matter how well they did, they'd be facing unprecedented scrutiny from fans and critics alike.
On January 25, 2013, it was revealed that J.J. Abrams would be taking on the then-unnamed "Star Wars Episode VII." The director had already shared his talents with such franchises as "Mission: Impossible" and "Star Trek," and seemed like the perfect fit to continue the epic space opera. Little did fans know that it was Abrams' involvement in the previously mentioned franchises that nearly prevented him from saying yes to "Star Wars."
On the "Howard Stern Show, »
- Joseph Medina
Right now, Adam Driver is known really only to the viewers of HBO’s “Girls” and those who’ve been impressed by his appearances in critically acclaimed fare like “Inside Llewyn Davis” and “While We’re Young.” But that’s about to change, with the young actor playing the villainous, still-mysterious Kylo Ren in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” It’s the start of a big 2016 for the actor, who’s also lined up roles in Jeff Nichols’ “Midnight Special” and Martin Scorsese’s “Silence,” and an interview in the latest issue of Empire Magazine (not yet online, but get the new issue here) reveals that the star has work with another beloved auteur lined up: Before he set out on promo duties for J.J. Abrams’ mega-blockbuster, “he finished work on Jim Jarmusch’s ‘Paterson.’” This isn’t quite the first we’ve heard about the project: Jarmusch told us »
- Oliver Lyttelton
Fans of space operas and historical musicals rejoice! Just when you thought Star Wars: The Force Awakens had achieved mass cultural saturation, the year’s most anticipated film went out and recruited Lin-Manuel Miranda, the star, composer and lyricist of the massively popular Broadway show Hamilton. Lucasfilm and director J.J. Abrams had the nerds and families locked down […]
- Jacob Hall
One of the great, mostly unanswerable, questions of life is that nature vs. nurture. Are we a product of the lives we live, or is there an aspect to each of us that we are born with? Does our experience change us, or do we simply become the person we were always meant to be? J.J. Abrams believes the answer lies somewhere in between the two extremes and as an example of how characters have grown and changed through the Star Wars films he points to Princess, excuse me, General Leia. When Leia Organa takes the screen in a couple short weeks in The Force Awakens she will be a general, no longer referred to as Princess by the Resistance. According to the director, Leia.s evolution from royal to military leader is a natural growing up for the character. Still, Abrams tells Entertainment Weekly that Leia is ultimately »
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