Journey to The Force Awakens book previews give us a glimpse into the GFFA 30 years on

Jedi-Bibliothek spotted previews of the four Journey to The Force Awakens books for young readers on iTunes – and they reveal – or confirm – at least a few things about the film. Turns out, the prologues to Moving Target, Smuggler’s Run, and The Weapon of a Jedi are actually set in The Force Awakens era. In Moving Target we get a glimpse of Leia – and a confirmation of her title – and Han tells a story about the Millennium Falcon in Smuggler’s Run. Luke’s situation will have to wait for the movie, though – Weapon of a Jedi features a red-armed C-3PO and Jessika Pava, a pilot with Blue Squadron. (We’ve heard of her before, spoiler-lovers!)

I’ve cropped the Phil Noto art, above, but head to Jedi-Bibliothek for some screenshots and a bit of story. (Including Lost Stars, which, alas, has no such illustration.)

The Journey to the Force Awakens novels will all be out September 4.

Lucasfilm and Target want your Star Wars memories

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Lucasfilm and Target have paired up to create Share the Force, a new site that lets fans add theirs and see others. Mashable has a few celebrity selections, and some cute videos.

I’m a soulless, jaded fan who’s over this kind of thing (or at least rather sick of telling ‘my story’ – it’s just not that exciting,) but it’s a cute idea, and the instant sharing aspect is at least a step above previous efforts that simply vanished into Lucasfilm’s archives.

The Force Awakens: Kylo Ren isn’t a Sith, and the origins of the First Order

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Empire Magazine continues to dribble out information from their cover story on The Force Awakens. J.J. Abrams confirms the subtext that Kylo Ren is not a Sith, and that he serves Supreme Leader Snoke, “who is a powerful figure on the dark side of the Force.” (So likely also not a Sith.)

The most interesting part, however, is contextualizing the origins of the First Order:

“That all came out of conversations about what would have happened if the Nazis all went to Argentina but then started working together again?’” Abrams reveals. “What could be born of that? Could The First Order exist as a group that actually admired The Empire? Could the work of The Empire be seen as unfulfilled? And could Vader be a martyr? Could there be a need to see through what didn’t get done?”

The issue is supposedly on newsstands Thursday.

Rumor: Rogue One bringing back Grand Moff Tarkin

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Today’s crazy rumor comes to us from The Daily Mail, so be sure to treat it with the upmost sincerity.

The Mail says that Rogue One will feature a “digitally recreated” Peter Cushing reprising Grand Moff Tarkin. Okay!

To their credit, it is somewhat plausible, given the great strides we’ve seen in digital makeup recently, but the performance would also be under far greater scrutiny… Of course, we also heard similar rumors for Revenge of the Sith, where young Tarkin (played by Wayne Pygram and a lot of makeup) showed up only briefly with no actual lines. But the article also goes on to describe (presumably) ILMers recreating his legs, which seems a bit disingenuous when you could hire a talented stand-in. Maybe their source is actually talking about Battlefront?

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Rumor: Will Episode VIII introduce another major female role?

A site called GeekNation claims they’ve heard through the ever nebulous “sources” that Rian Johnson and company are looking for an actress to play a “strong, young female character” who will be “featured heavily” in Episode VIII.

rumors-swirl-sw-probeWhere I start to side-eye things is who the sources say this character specifically is, but that’s spoiler territory (including some fairly mild speculation on The Force Awakens,) so I’ll steer clear.

This isn’t the first we’ve heard that Episode VIII may feature another leading woman; Making Star Wars had something back in June, though the specifics were quite different. (Or were they?)

But as much as I hope for continued variety of Star Wars ladies in this new trilogy, I’ve never heard of this GeekNation site before and can’t vouch for their reporting at all. The salt cellar is close at hand.

Drew Struzan gushes about The Force Awakens

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Legendary poster artist Drew Struzan told Movie Weekly that The Force Awakens is “probably going to be the best Star Wars you’ve ever seen.” Pretty high praise, even from a guy being paid by Lucasfilm. He also talks about how J.J. Abrams called him up, how much of the film he’s seen, his process, and why the lightsaber colors on the Revenge of the Jedi poster were reversed.

Lucasfilm has trademarked new new names. They could be for The Force Awakens, Rogue One, or just about anything, really.

→ Yet more D23 video: Lupita Nyong’o on being a part of the franchise and her other Disney roles, Abrams on what fans can expect, Oscar Isaac’s favorite character, and Daisy Ridley hopes that her and John Boyega’s friendship comes through on screen.

→ Spoiler corner: A tiny bite-sized scoop of information about Poe Dameron’s squadron name.

→ On that note, a nice, if top-heavy, piece from newcomer The Star Wars Post on if Star Wars 7 News leaking the Luke Skywalker image crossed a spoiler line. I’ll just say that SW7N has never exactly been known for their sound judgement, which is why I tend to warn so profusly when linking them.